Media outlets across the country are reporting that a recently purchased 1997 Continental Charters Van Hool bus was involved in a fatal crash over the weekend. The charter bus allegedly ran off of Interstate 40 and hit an overpass bridge abutment at 1:00 a.m. on Friday, November 6 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The bus accident is said to have caused multiple deaths and several serious injuries to those onboard. At least one news report claims that six people died and six were injured.
The Mexican government reportedly said that 19 of the 22 workers traveling on the bus were Mexican citizens with work visas enabling them to work legally in the United States under the H-2A worker program. News reports indicate that the Hispanic workers were migrant farmworkers traveling back to Texas from Michigan.
Multiple sources said that the driver of the bus was Roberto Vasquez, and that he survived the Arkansas bus accident. It is believed that the severity of the crash caused the bus roof to rip off and ejected passengers onto the interstate. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating multiple potential causes of this incident, including driver fatigue, weather conditions, and more.
The latest media reports list the names of the survivors onboard the bus as:
- Roberto Vasquez, 28, of Arcadia Florida (Driver)
- Mercio Reyes, 20 of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
- Eleazar Cruz, 23, of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
- Santos Reyes, 35, of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
- Norberto Alvarez, 29, of Texcapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
- Israel Galindo, 32, of Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico
- Samuel Cabriales, 43, of Galeana, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
- Cristina Arzola, 23, of Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca, Mexico
- Rodolfo Meza Sr., 43, of Lake Placid, Florida
- Rodolfo Meza Jr., 20, of Lake Placid, Florida
- Francisco Ponciano, 23, of Tepehuacán de Guerrero, Hidalgo, Mexico
- Miguel Angel Tecuaque, 20, of Tezonapa, Veracruz, Mexico
- Margarito Hernandez, 24, of Tezonapa, Veracruz, Mexico
- Alejandro Marcos, 19, of Tecapa, Hidalgo, Mexico
- Mooises Luis-Velasquez, 21, of Tepehuacán de Guerrero, Hidalgo, Mexico
- Julio Cesar (age and city of residence unknown)
The Arkansas State Police is asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call (501) 618-8100. State Troopers are working with federal authorities and the Mexican Consulate to make notification of the deaths to next of kin who may be out of country.