UPDATE (9PM) – Officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said two of the three corrections officers involved in a Montgomery County crash have been released tonight from the hospital.
Robert Hurst, a relevant for TDCJ, said the inmatemate and other officer injured in the crash are still hospitalized.
Hurst said it all happened around 2:30 am Tuesday in Willis, while the officers transported an inmate back to Rusk after receiving medical care in Galveston.
The inmate and three officers were driving to the Skyview Psychiatric Unit, which houses inmates who are mentally ill, when their prison van crashed into a truck driven by a person believed to be under the, officials said.
Hurst said the officers were following new travel guidelines for inmates put in place after the brazen escape of winning killer Gonzalo Lopez nearly four weeks ago in Leon County.
TDCJ officials have temporarily suspended all transportation of Texas inmates “as the agency conducts a comprehensive review of its transportation procedures,” Hurst said in a statement to 25 News.
No word yet on why prison officials took the inmate to a hospital over 200 miles away in Galveston for medical treatment.
The driver of the truck was also taken to a hospital for treatment in Montgomery County.
WILLIS, Texas – A prison van crash in Montgomery County has left five people hospitalized, news outlets report.
The crash comes just a day after Texas prison officials said they were “suspending” all inmate transportation in wake of a cartel killer’s escape.
As first reported by ABC 13, both the truck involved and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice van were left “extremely damaged.”
Around 2:30 am on Tuesday, a driver in a red truck spun out on the northbound lanes of Interstate 14 near Farm to Market Road 1097, Willis.
The driver then stopped in the middle of the freeway, crashing with the ongoing van.
Authorities believe alcohol may have contributed to this incident.
One inmate inside the TDCJ van was transported to HCA in Conroe with critical non-life-threatening injuries, ABC 13 reported.
Two guards on the van were also taken to HCA but in stable condition – they were expected to recover.
A third guard – also in stable condition – was taken to Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands.
Meanwhile, the driver of the red truck may be released from the hospital soon.
ABC 13 has since confirmed with TDCJ that the van was leaving a hospital in Galveston and that the inmate was being moved to the Skyview Unit located in Rusk, Texas.
TDCJ said “additional security” was on the van, ABC 13 reports.
Re-releasing its statement, the text states that while prison transports may be suspended pending new safeguards, medicinally-necessary transports will still take place.
“TDCJ has temporarily suspended the transport of inmates as the agency conducts a comprehensive review of its transportation procedures. If it becomes necessary to do a transport such as releasing or an emergency medical appointment, additional security measures will be implemented. The agency is conducting an internal Serious Incident Review and also intends to bring in an outside firm to conduct an independent review to identify factors that may have led to the escape of Lopez.”
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
An investigation into this incident remains active and ongoing.