VIDEOS: Whitehouse students, faculty member still recuperating in Houston hospital

Published on Monday, 14 April 2014 17:00 - Written by

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Whitehouse High School faculty member Holly Mann, along with a male WHS junior and a female WHS sophomore, are all continuing to recover in a Houston hospital after the three vehicle accident Saturday night.

The accident occurred on Highway 59 in Wharton, Texas. Wharton Police Department officials confirmed that Whitehouse ISD students and faculty were traveling north on Highway 59 when another vehicle traveling south in the northbound lane struck the Whitehouse ISD vehicle.

The WHS junior, underwent one successful surgery Sunday and according to family members was set to undergo a second surgery today, district public relations coordinator Adrianna Moon said.

Mann also underwent successful surgery Sunday on her leg.

Sunday afternoon, Whitehouse ISD administrators visited the students, faculty member and the families of those who remain hospitalized in Houston. After visiting with those still hospitalized, Whitehouse ISD officials remain optimistic regarding their recoveries.

Several of the students that were involved in the accident have returned to school today.

Whitehouse ISD counselors and faculty have made themselves readily available on campus today to speak with students regarding Saturday’s accident. 

Whitehouse ISD officials have spoken with Wharton County district attorney Ross Kurtz, who indicated the accident is being investigated as a criminal investigation jointly between the Wharton Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Kurtz told officials the driver of the suspect vehicle was given a blood alcohol test.

Kurtz indicated that the driver of the other vehicle had been convicted of two prior Driving While Intoxicated charges.

All other students involved in the accident have returned home.

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UPDATE: Our news partners at KYTX CBS 19 are reporting this morning that one of the injured students is in critical condition. We will post any updates as they become available.

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BY FAITH HARPER, fharper@tylerpaper.com

A Whitehouse teacher and two students were in a Houston hospital Sunday evening after they were hit by a drunken driver on a school-sponsored trip.

The accident happened late Saturday night in Wharton, while the group was traveling home from Corpus Christi after a Career and Technical Education contest, according to a news release from the district.

Students in the high school’s culinary arts program were participating in the State Leadership Conference in Corpus Christi for the Texas FCCLA Family Career and Community Leaders of America. 

Several students and one teacher were taken to a Wharton hospital to be treated for nonlife-threatening injuries and have all since been treated and released. Two students and one faculty member were taken by helicopter to a Houston hospital and remained hospitalized as of Sunday morning, according to the district.

School Board President Vince Primo confirmed teacher Holly Mann was one of those in the hospital but declined to release the names of the male and female students.

He said the male student had surgery Sunday and was expected to have another on Monday. The female was expected to be admitted into a room Sunday evening, he said.

“We are praying for the families, we are praying for their recovery and for the doctors and nurses that everything goes well,” Primo said.

Primo said students who were treated and released in Wharton were put in a hotel room for the evening until the district or parents could pick them up Sunday morning. Several high school administrators who happened to be in Houston for unrelated reasons came to the hospitals as soon as they could, he said.

“It’s very terrible, and it’s another reason why we try teach the kids not to drink and drive,” he said. “It’s another example of how we need to be teaching that it’s not acceptable and you could be taking the lives of kids who really haven’t started their lives yet."

The Wharton Police Department was unavailable for comment on the circumstances on how the accident happened Sunday afternoon.

Primo said the district was not expecting to look into its policies after the accident and was not considering limiting field trips.

“I think everything was done within policy,” he said. “All that could be done was done. That’s why they call them accidents.”