An off-duty police officer and his young daughter were killed in Grayson County on Monday, March 5th, in a chain reaction crash that took the life of three people in total. The incident occurred while the officer and other drivers were waiting behind a stopped school bus.

Details of the Incident

The city of Celina, Texas, is mourning the death of an off-duty police officer, his six-year-old daughter, and the passenger of another vehicle. The three individuals died in a chain-reaction crash on March 5th on Texas Highway 56 at Old Sanborn Ranch Road.

The officer and his daughter were last in line in a group of eastbound cars waiting behind a school bus that was stopped to let off passengers. Tragically, while they were waiting, an eastbound garbage truck came over the top of a hill and collided with the rear of their vehicle.

As a result, the officer’s vehicle, as well three vehicles ahead of it, were pushed into each other in a chain reaction.

The officer as well as his daughter were pronounced dead at the scene. A third victim, age 60, succumbed to his injuries later that night.

Several individuals in the three vehicles ahead of the officer’s vehicle were also injured, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. None of the students riding in the school bus were harmed in the crash.

“Every heart in this tight-knit community breaks tonight…” Celina Mayor Sean Terry said in a news release regarding the death of the Celina officer. “[He] served our city as passionately as he loved his family, and we will deeply miss his presence on our streets and in our lives.”

Bus Crashes in Texas

While no bus passengers were injured in the accident reported above, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all bus riders involved in Texas car crashes. While each of these incidents is a tragedy, thankfully, school bus accidents that lead to fatalities are relatively rare. In 2019, there were just 2 deadly school bus accidents.

Fatalities involving other types of buses, while still relatively rare, are sadly more common in Texas. In 2019, 19 buses were involved in deadly accidents.

Given the fact that school buses are rarely equipped with seatbelts, bus accidents are less likely to lead to fatalities than accidents involving passenger cars. Just under one-fifth of one percent of school bus accidents led to death in 2019, while passenger car accidents were roughly twice as likely to lead to fatalities at .003%.

Unfortunately, the same can not be said of non-school bus accidents. In fact, bus accidents were roughly twice as likely to lead to a fatality than passenger car vehicles, at .006%.


If you’ve been involved in a Texas car or bus accident, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns, PLLC, for help.

Book Your FREE Consultation Now

Source: News12, Law Officer, NBC5


About Christopher Johns

johnsChristopher Johns co-founded Lapeze & Johns with one thing in mind: civil justice for victims of negligence. Mr. Johns is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried over 50 cases to verdict and judgment throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast, and around the United States with a 98% success rate. His efforts throughout his time at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lawyer have garnered him many accolades, a 10.0 rating from AVVO, and Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2004. Read more about Christopher Johns here.