Athens church collects letters for bus driver involved in fatal crash

78-year-old bus driver now recovering at home in Mabank
The church says they will hand deliver the letters to the driver.
The church says they will hand deliver the letters to the driver.(KLTV)
Published: Jan. 30, 2019 at 10:57 AM CST
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ATHENS, TX (KLTV) - An Athens church is collecting letters for the bus driver involved in Friday’s fatal collision involving a Union Pacific train.

On Facebook, Sand Springs Baptist Church posted that they’re collecting “encouraging and prayerful notes and cards” and will deliver them to 78-year-old John Stevens.

The post reads, “He lives alone and right now can use all the prayers and encouragement he can get.”

We would like to give you the opportunity to join with us in loving on John Stevens. He is the bus driver of the tragic...

Posted by Sand Springs Church on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The church says those interested can mail cards to:

Sand Springs Baptist Church

John Stevens c/o Bruce

1212 FM 1616

Athens, Texas 75751

The bus driver, Stevens, is now recovering at home after being treated and released.

Christopher Bonilla, 13, was killed when the school bus was hit by a train near the Cream Level Road railroad crossing. According to police, the train and the bus came to a stop a quarter of a mile away from the initial collision at the Murchison Street crossing. According to police, there are no railroad crossing gates, bells, or lights at the intersection where the crash happened.

An Athens Central Elementary School student, 9-year-old Joselyne Torres, and the bus driver, 78-year-old John Stevens, of Mabank, were both injured in the crash. Torres was taken to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. She has since been moved from the ICU and is reported to be in stable condition.

Athens police told KLTV on Tuesday that they anticipate they will wrap up their investigation next week and will forward the findings to the district attorney’s office. Police are working with both Union Pacific and Athens ISD on the investigation.

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