HOUSTONU.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, (R-TX-02), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today hosted a meeting with representatives from the West Brook Bus Crash Families. This group is comprised of parents of the victims of a fatal bus accident in 2006 that injured and killed members of the Beaumont West Brook High School Girls Soccer team. The parents are advocates on behalf of their children for higher motor coach and school bus safety standards on the local, state and federal level.
While the organization was scheduled to meet with Sen. Cornyn in Washington next month, he rescheduled the meeting for today in light of last weeks tragic bus accident in Sherman and the need for immediate attention.
Congressman Poe and I had a very informative meeting with representatives from the West Brook Bus Crash Families today. These parents have undergone tremendous heartache, yet they continue to fight tirelessly to improve bus safety standards in Texas and across the country.
Their tragedy and the recent fatal accident in Sherman that took the lives of 17 members of a Houston church group, underscore the importance of addressing bus safety as quickly as possible to prevent future tragedies. Whether its in the area of manufacturing, licensing, or law enforcement, bus safety reform is an issue I will push the Senate to review immediately and comprehensively, Sen. Cornyn said.
I want to continue this important dialogue with advocacy groups like the West Brook Bus Crash Families to ensure their concerns are being heard on the federal level. Church groups, sports teams, and other groups traveling in motor coaches or school busses need the assurance that their government leaders are taking every possible step to ensure their safety. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who were killed in Sherman last week, and also to the West Brook parents who continue to cope with the tragic losses and injuries that occurred in 2006.
Rep. Poe made the following statement:
"I am proud to work with Senator Cornyn on this important issue. Recent tragedies reinforce the need to promote effective bus safety. I have asked the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Highways Subcommittee to hold a hearing on this topic immediately when Congress reconvenes in September. Our hearts go out to the West Brook families here today, the Vietnamese community and the victims and families involved in last week's tragedy in Sherman and we will not stand for these tragedies to continue. We must make the safety of our families a top priority."
Note: While a full investigation is underway that may uncover additional facts, the owner of the bus that crashed and killed 17 individuals in Sherman last week could face a number of serious federal and state charges that carry stiff jail sentences and heavy fines.