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A tire blowout caused a bus carrying the St. Joseph High School volleyball team to roll over and crash early Saturday morning.

The accident took place on U.S. Highway 183 near FM 2067 outside Gonzales. The team from the Victoria school had been traveling to Austin to play against Hyde Park.

Department of Public Safety troopers and San Antonio and Gonzales County officials responded to the scene.

Steve Ferguson, whose property faces the crash site, rushed to the scene right after the crash.

It was pretty devastating, he said. The bus was turned on its side and you could see people on the ground.

Ferguson and his workers rushed on their four-wheelers from across the highway to help the victims.

We heard the skidmark.... We knew there was a big wreck, he said.

Before paramedics arrived, those who weren't seriously injured were helping some of the ones who couldn't get out, Ferguson said.

Cammy Lewis lives about a mile from where the wreck happened.

There was sobbing. You could see a lot of shock, hugging, she said. 'Thankfully, nothing gruesome.

Eighteen players and coaches were transported to nearby hospitals. Eight girls and the male bus driver remained at Memorial Hospital in Gonzales late Saturday.

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, officials said.

Bill McArdle, St. Joseph's principal, was thankful that the crash wasn't any worse.

Their guardian angels were watching over them, he said. The bus itself is totaled. All the windows in the bus were busted.

Saturday's game was supposed to be the team's final warmup before district playoffs next week.

Investigators still have not said what caused the bus driver to swerve off the road.


UPDATE: All 18 students and the driver involved in the school bus accident have been released from the hospital.

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