2 killed, dozens injured in bus crash near Dallas

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Associated Press

IRVING, Texas (AP) - The woman said by passengers to be the organizer of a charter-bus trip to an Oklahoma casino for North Texas senior citizens is one of the two people killed when the bus crashed on a North Texas expressway.
   
Trooper Lonny Haschel of the Texas Department of Public Safety identifies the dead as 69-year-old Paula Hawn, of Fort Worth, and 81-year-old Sue Taylor, of Hurst, a Fort Worth suburb.
   
Passengers had said Taylor, known to them as "Casino Sue," organized the trip to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Okla.
   
Authorities say 45 people were aboard the bus, 41 of whom were taken to Dallas-area hospitals for treatment. The 15 worst injured were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where four were listed in critical condition.

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Earlier story:

At least two people were killed and 36 injured Thursday when a bus carrying people to a casino overturned on a highway outside Dallas, authorities said.

The crash happened in the Dallas suburb of Irving. Video from NBC affiliate KXAS showed crews working to free trapped passengers and carrying people away on stretchers.

“People were screaming, on top of each other,” Dan Risik, who identified himself as a passenger on the bus, told KXAS. “I was on top of a friend of mine, and a woman was on top of me on my leg. I couldn’t move up, or what have you, until help arrived and they climbed through the windows.”

Risik said the bus was headed to Choctaw Casino Resort, just over the Oklahoma state line and about 90 miles from Dallas. Many of the passengers were elderly, Risik said.

Lonny Haschel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed the two deaths to KXAS. Rusty Wilson, the assistant fire chief of Irving, said 36 were injured. About an hour after the crash, Haschel said it was not clear whether passengers were still trapped inside.

The bus veered out of the northbound lanes of a state highway, struck a rubber roadside barrier, skidded back across the highway, hit a concrete barrier on the other side and overturned, Haschel said. The bus carved deep skid marks into the grass in the median and came to rest on its passenger side.

Parkland Hospital in Dallas said it was treating 11 people from the crash and was “prepared to care for a mass casualty event.” Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving said it was treating six passengers.

Authorities closed the highway and a nearby toll booth and set up a command center in the parking lot of a nearby bank. The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators.

KXAS reported that Irving fire officials ordered all their trucks to help.

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