LIVINGSTON, Texas (KTRK) — An 18-wheeler driver is charged in the death of a 15-year-old boy who was hit and killed while getting off a Livingston ISD bus on Thursday.
The Texas Department of Public Safety announced the arrest of 41-year-old Gregory Jackson on Friday. By late Friday evening, family members confirmed the teen victim’s name as Eduardo Romero Flores.
Jackson was arrested for criminally negligent homicide following the incident, which shut down US-59 north of Livingston throughout the evening.
Authorities said a Livingston ISD school bus was heading northbound when it stopped in the outside lane with its flashing red lights and stop sign extended to drop off a student.
A Toyota, driven by 28-year-old Autumn Witt from Lufkin, was behind the school bus when a northbound semi-truck hit the back of that car.
Then, DPS said the truck, driven by Jackson, veered right and hit the teen in a driveway.
Flores died at the scene. Jackson and the Toyota driver were not injured.
Jackson was employed by Livingston Trucking. ABC13 spoke to the owner who acknowledged the accident but did not offer further comment.
According to records, the company has been involved in seven crashes over the past two years. Three of those crashes resulted in injuries.
“I hate that it happened,” Zulma Santiago, a mom whose child uses the same bus route said.
Santiago is devastated, but not surprised to hear a 15-year-old teen boy was hit and killed here.
She says her 11-year-old also gets picked up and dropped off near Highway 59 North.
Santiago says cars speed and oftentimes don’t pay attention.
“What happens is the bus is stopping, first he’ll wait a little while and he’ll open the door that is when the stop sign comes out and then all the sudden these cars are coming flying around and then they are stopping, but you got one or two that’s not paying attention,” Santiago said. “By the time they see what’s going on, they are veering to the right or left.”
Livingston ISD offered condolences to the teen’s loved ones in the wake of the crash and said the following:
“Our district lost a member of its family. At times like this, we are reminded how precious life can be and how fragile each life truly is.
It is sad when our district loses a member of its family. It is even more tragic when such a young life is taken away from us.
We extend our thoughts and sincere condolences to family and friends.
All of our counselors are available in the morning to listen and help any students needing assistance. We are fortunate to have a team of experienced counselors who can provide much-needed comfort to our students and staff.”
“Hopefully his name didn’t go in vain and hopefully this actually changes something instead of the same thing continuing to happen,” Santiago said.
Jackson was booked into the Polk County Jail.