RIO HONDO — The lift bridge here closed down after it sustained substantial damage when a charter bus transporting immigration detainees crashed into it Friday night.
All four occupants of the bus chartered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, including two detained migrants, were injured in the crash.
Three were treated and released. The driver was reported to be in stable condition in a Harlingen hospital Saturday following surgery.
The bus was chartered by ICE to transport immigration detainees. It was west-bound on Colorado Boulevard when the driver failed to stay in his lane and crashed into the east side of the bridge about 6:15 p.m. Friday, officials said.
The bridge reopened to vehicular traffic about 8 p.m. Saturday after Texas Department of Transportation officials were on the scene assessing the damage.
However, residents are warned to be prepared for partial closures in the future until the bridge is fixed. As of now, it cannot be lifted.
“Other agencies will be assisting and we’ll have more information on Monday,” said Michael Bilokury, public safety director for the city of Rio Hondo.
“It will have to shut down eventually to fix it. It has substantial damage. They have another engineer coming from Austin to come up with an action plan to repair the bridge and determine what they are going to do between then and now.”
Officials said the bus veered into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle.
“That caused him to crash into one of the upright I-beams, part of the main structure of the bridge,” Bilokury said.
The four occupants included two ICE detainees and two officers, one of whom was the driver, he said.
The driver was trapped inside the bus and was extricated by firefighters from the Rio Hondo Volunteer Fire Department and the Harlingen Fire Department.
All four were taken to Valley Baptist Medical Center for treatment.
The driver, who sustained the most serious injuries, was taken into surgery and was in stable condition as of early Saturday morning, Bilokury said.
The other three sustained non-life threatening injuries. The two detainees were treated and released into ICE custody. The other officer also was treated and released.
Updated with bridge reopening.