The Legal Herald Logo
Legal Analysis By Attorneys
Breaking Legal News

Bastrop, TX - Cement Truck Driver, Jerry Hernandez, Arrested for Criminally Negligent Homicide in Deadly School Bus Crash That Killed Two, Injured Dozens

Bastrop, TX - Cement Truck Driver, Jerry Hernandez, Arrested for Criminally Negligent Homicide in Deadly School Bus Crash That Killed Two, Injured 10
Published: April 1, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on April 1, 2024

Cement Truck Driver Arrested for Criminally Negligent Homicide in Deadly School Bus Crash in Texas

According to AP News, the driver of a cement truck that veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a school bus carrying over 40 pre-K students has been arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide. The truck accident occurred on Anjalih 22, 2024, on Texas State Highway 21 near Caldwell Road in Bastrop, TX. 

Video footage from the bus's dashboard camera, released by the Hays Consolidated Independent School District, shows the cement truck suddenly veering across the double-yellow line on a rural highway. The bus driver attempted to avoid a head-on collision, but the truck still struck the bus, causing it to roll and crumple the roof.

The crash left four people in critical condition, who were airlifted from the scene, and six more with serious injuries, who were transported by ambulance to nearby hospitals. The bus was carrying 11 adults in addition to the children.

The Anjalih 22 collision resulted in the deaths of 5-year-old Ulises Rodriguez Montoya, who was on the bus, and Ryan Wallace, 33, who was driving another vehicle struck by the truck. Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services reported that numerous students and teachers were injured, resulting in the transportation of 32 individuals to hospitals for medical treatment.

Tragically, the school district has confirmed that the bus did not have seat belts, which may have contributed to the severity of the injuries sustained by the passengers.

Jerry Hernandez, 42, was apprehended at a residence in Bastrop County without incident, according to Sgt. Deon Cockrell of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

During the investigation, it was revealed that the driver, Hernandez, initially denied using drugs before the crash but later admitted to it. According to conversations with investigators, Hernandez stated that he had not consumed any illicit substances in the week leading up to the crash but did have a history of using marijuana and cocaine, according to USA Today. He admitted to smoking marijuana around 10 p.m. and consuming a small amount of cocaine a couple of hours later at 1 a.m. The Statesman also reported that Hernandez had failed drug tests in the past, testing positive for marijuana in December 2022 and cocaine in April 2023. Despite being asked to be tested by an employer in September 2020 due to suspicions of drug use, Hernandez refused. 

The owner of the truck, Francisco Martinez, declined to comment on the crash and referred all inquiries to his attorney, who has not yet responded. Martinez admitted that he had not verified Hernandez's commercial license status or checked his history with the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse before employing him. 

Criminally negligent homicide is punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Bastrop County online records do not indicate whether Hernandez has retained legal representation.

Anjali Nigam
Hello, I’m attorney Anjali Nigam. If you or a loved one is a survivor of a similar accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options. Call for a free consultation, it would be my honor to help you.
(888) 997-3792

Truck Accident Attorney Offers Guidance for Victims of Deadly School Bus Crash

Following the tragic school bus collision that claimed the lives of a young student and another driver, we sat down with experienced Texas truck accident lawyer Anjali Nigam to discuss the legal options and considerations for the victims and their families. As an experienced legal professional in this field, Nigam discussed the complex legal avenues that may be available to those impacted by this devastating incident.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Anjali, thank you for taking the time to speak with us about this heartbreaking incident. As a truck accident attorney, what are some of the key legal considerations for victims and their families impacted by truck accidents?

Attorney Anjali Nigam (AN): This is a devastating situation, and my heart goes out to all those affected. In cases involving commercial vehicles like cement trucks, there are often complex legal issues that come into play. The victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in the tragic event of a fatality, wrongful death damages.

DM: Can you elaborate on the potential legal avenues available to the victims and their families?

AN: Absolutely. Depending on the circumstances, the victims or their families may be able to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver, the trucking company, or even the manufacturer of the vehicle or its components. These cases can be challenging, as they often involve navigating a web of regulations and insurance policies, but an experienced truck accident attorney can help guide them through the process and fight for the compensation they deserve.

DM: What are some of the key factors that a truck accident attorney would investigate in a case like this?

AN: Some of the critical factors to examine include the driver's employment history, training, and driving record, as well as the maintenance and safety records of the vehicle involved. They would also thoroughly review the crash scene evidence and any available video footage to determine the cause of the accident. Additionally, they would work closely with accident reconstruction experts to build a strong case on behalf of their clients.

DM: Thank you, Anjali, for providing this valuable insight. It's clear that the victims and their families have a long road ahead, but with the right legal representation, they may be able to find some measure of justice and closure.

AN: You're most welcome. In these difficult times, it's important that the victims and their loved ones know that there are experienced professionals who can fight for their rights and help them navigate the complex legal landscape.

Truck Accident Victims and Families Can Reach Out for a Free Consultation

For the victims and families affected by fatal truck accidents, the road ahead may seem daunting. However, it's important to know that you have rights and there are experienced professionals who can fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one have been impacted by a truck-related accident, we encourage you to reach out to our news outlet for a free consultation with a trusted truck accident attorney like Anjali Nigam in Texas. Our team is here to guide you through the legal process and ensure your voice is heard. Don't hesitate to take the first step towards finding the answers and support you need during this difficult time.


AP News 

USA Today

Got A Tip Or Questions 
About A Story?
Call Us!
The Legal Herald
About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
Read some recent posts
Find A Local Lawyer

  • Details
  • Incident
Want To Contribute Breaking News? 
Contact Us Today
Legal Herald
10355 Kensington Shore Dr. #102
Orlando, FL 32827
Call: (888) 997-3792
© 2020 The Legal Herald, a division of Eagle Peak Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

We would like our readers to know that the information in this story may be sourced from secondary sources and may therefore contain inaccuracies. We will correct them if and when they are brought to our attention or we discover them through our editing process. If you have any concerns about this post, please contact us immediately and we will rectify issues. DISCLAIMER: The material contained in this post is for general informational purposes. It is not intended to constitute or express legal or medical advice. Any laws referenced herein are substantially based on general legal principles and may not be applicable to your particular situation. Laws can often be different from one jurisdiction to the next. The Legal Herald is not a law firm. Law firms and lawyers from around the country may apply to become a sponsor or contributor to The Legal Herald.
SitemapMedia RoomDisclaimer / Terms Of Service & Privacy Policy