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Texas officials: 1 killed, 7 hurt in cheerleader bus crash

BIG SPRING, Texas -- Authorities say a woman was killed and seven others were injured when a semitrailer crashed into a bus carrying a group of West Texas high school cheerleaders. 

Iraan-Sheffield School District Superintendent Kevin Allen says the bus, which was carrying six cheerleaders and two cheerleader sponsors, was headed home Friday night after a football game when it was hit on Interstate 20 near Big Spring.

Allen says one of the cheerleader sponsors was killed. Authorities identified her as 52-year-old Elizabeth Pope. 

“We’re in a time of shock and grief and we’re trying to piece everything together and figure out how do we best need to handle this when we have school on Monday,” Allen said, according to CBS Odessa affiliate KOSA.

The seven others were taken to hospitals in Big Spring and Lubbock. Four had been treated and released by Saturday afternoon. 

University Medical Center in Lubbock spokesman Eric Finley says three individuals remained hospitalized - two in critical and one in satisfactory condition.

Photos from the scene showed the school bus with its front end crumpled against the damaged side of a tractor trailer rig. The wreckage from the crash was being removed from the site overnight following an investigation, KOSA reported.

In a statement to KOSA, Iraan High School Principal Jim Braum said: “Our community is tremendously grateful to the first responders from Big Spring, the folks who stopped to render aid, and the staff at Scenic View. The love and compassion they showed our kids and community are evidence that we still love one another in West Texas.”