By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

A collision between a school bus and an 18-wheeler on Farm-to-Market 439 and Briana Drive west of Belton killed one person and sent two others to the hospital Monday.

The accident, which occurred at 6:30 a.m. Monday, killed Jerry Calvin Barnes, 64, of Belton, stated Texas Department of Public Safety officials.

Justice of the Peace Ted Duffield pronounced Barnes dead at the scene at 7:45 a.m., DPS officials said.

Barnes was the driver of the Belton Independent School District bus that was struck by an 18-wheeler, DPS officials said.

No children were on the bus at the time, but another BISD employee was injured in the accident, stated a BISD news release.

"While we are thankful no students were involved, we grieve this loss of life. Our concerns are also with the bus monitor, and we pray for his complete recovery," said BISD Superintendent Vivian Baker, in a news release.

The monitor was taken to Scott and White Hospital in Temple with non-life threatening injuries, along with the driver of the 18-wheeler, who also sustained non-life threatening injuries, stated Gary Hammerschmidt, fire chief for the Stillhouse Volunteer Fire Department, who responded to the accident.

Prior to the accident, Barnes was driving north on Briana Drive and pulled up to a stop sign, DPS officials said. The bus made a complete stop, then Barnes attempted make a left turn pulling onto FM 439 to travel west.

At that time, an 18-wheeled tanker truck was traveling east on FM 439 in the proper lane and crashed into the bus, DPS officials said. It collided with the left front corner of the bus.

BISD is mourning Barnes' death, the BISD release stated.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of a member of our BISD family and express our deepest sympathy to the driver's family," Baker said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554.

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