A Terrible Tragedy in the Rio Grande Valley


We all think that our children are safe when we send them off to school, but sadly, this isn’t always the case. On November 14th, a Harlingen middle school student lost his life in a shocking and unexpected bus accident.

The bus was headed to UTRGV in Edinburg, TX for a field trip when the accident took place. Vernon Middle School students were excited to tour the college and were expecting a day full of adventure and learning. Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t as they hoped for.

The 14 year old boy fell out of the back of the bus from the emergency exit door while traveling on Expressway 281 headed northbound. When first responders arrived, the young boy was in cardiac arrest, and was immediately rushed to the hospital. He arrived at Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg where he was pronounced dead, suffering from major head trauma. Edinburg Assistant Police Chief Oscar Trevino says, “The accident is still under investigation and we’re looking into all circumstances leading up to this accident. We’re trying to find out what exactly took place before he fell out.”

The district had approved purchase back in October for camera placement in all of their school buses, so officials will be reviewing the footage. The cameras allow for a 100% view of the inside of the bus including the driver’s area.

According to Federal law, all exits should remain unlocked and accessible in case of an emergency. Investigators are hoping to determine whether there was a malfunction with the exit door or if it was intentionally opened.

Three buses were headed towards Edinburg, the other two headed back to Harlingen after the incident occurred. The students on the bus who were involved in the accident were questioned by authorities and then transferred to another bus to take them back to campus.

According to Harlingen CISD Superintendent Art Cavazos, two staff members were on board the bus acting as chaperones for the field trip. The location of where they were placed could not be determined at the time.

The investigation will remain open and will hopefully lead to a determination of what caused the accident.


Our hearts go out to those affected by this horrific event. With the sudden loss of a loved one comes many unanswered questions. The attorneys at the Garcia Law Group can help you get the answers you deserve. If you feel that your loved one has been a victim of wrongful death, contact us for a free consultation at (956) 661-8000.