A charter bus headed to a casino crashed in far South Texas on Saturday, killing nine people and injuring 43 others in a one-vehicle rollover, officials tell the AP. Seven people died at the scene on US Highway 83 about 46 miles north of Laredo and two died later at a Laredo hospital, per Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Conrad Hein. "The driver of the bus lost control and rolled over," he says. "Everything's real preliminary right now." Hein says the driver was among the survivors. His name and the names of passengers were not immediately available, the Dallas Morning News reports. The trooper says it was raining Saturday morning but it's uncertain if that was a factor in the crash that occurred just before 11:30am.
A family member who had three aunts on board, one of whom was killed, says a trooper told her the bus rolled over three times, the Laredo Morning Times reports. Fighting back tears, she says some passengers were trapped inside and others flew out windows. Hein says no other vehicles were in the area at the time. "Our troopers are going to look into what happened but it's going to take us some time," he says of the investigation. "We just know the driver lost control." The National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday night it was sending a team to also investigate the wreck. They were expected to arrive Sunday. The crash is one of the deadliest bus accidents in Texas in the last several years. (Read more bus crash stories.)