LATEST: Whitehouse ISD students, teacher in wreck - additional information shared

Published on Sunday, 13 April 2014 19:24 - Written 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.”