HEWITT, Texas (AP) _ A bus carrying a church group swerved to avoid a crash, then hit another vehicle and rolled over on a rain-soaked interstate Friday morning, killing seven people, authorities said.
Five of those killed were on the bus and two were in a sport utility vehicle hit head-on as the bus swerved into oncoming traffic, said Tom Vinger, a Department of Public Safety spokesman. The bus carried 33 people, and many of them were injured.
The bus came to rest on its side with a crushed black vehicle partially underneath it. Dozens of firefighters and rescue workers in yellow rain gear worked feverishly to get people out of the bus.
A triage center was set up near the wreck. ``We're just trying to take care of the wounded now,'' said Gary Patterson, a department spokesman.
The Hewitt area received heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout the morning, said Bill Bunting of the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
``About one inch an hour, which is not extreme, but enough to cause runoff and slick pavements,'' he said. A flash flood warning was posted later for the area.
The bus was carrying a group from Memorial Baptist Church in Temple who were traveling to a concert in Dallas. Family members gathered at the church to await word on their relatives.
``I don't guess life is supposed to be easy,'' church deacon Dick Stafford said. ``When you're having good times, you better enjoy them.''
The bus was operated by Waco-based Central Texas Trails Inc. A woman who answered their phone said company officials did not have any further information early Friday afternoon.
Interstate 35 is the major route linking Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Hewitt is about 90 miles north of Austin and 25 miles north of Temple.