A group of children and chaperones from Still Creek Ranch and Christian School were injured Monday when the van in which they were riding overturned during an afternoon outing for snowcones.
Shonnie Moore, a 28-year-old relief house parent and secretary at the school, was driving the school van when she reached down to grab her cell phone and lost control of the vehicle, according to Department of Public Safety reports.
The van hydroplaned and then flipped twice after Moore overcorrected, investigating Trooper Cliff Mayton said.
School director Margaret O'Quinn said Moore was one of 10 people - including eight girls enrolled in the school -in the van when it ran off rainslick F.M. 2038 just south of Kurten.
Moore was the only person to suffer critical injuries, O'Quinn said. Moore broke her neck in three places and bruised her spinal cord, O'Quinn said.
O'Quinn's husband, Danny, 58, and one student also remained hospitalized with less serious injuries, she said.
"It's a miracle any of them made it," said Margaret O'Quinn, who together with her husband runs the facility for troubled and orphaned children. "There's not a piece of glass left any larger than a marble, and the van looks like a milk carton somebody crushed. It's a miracle that we have seven little girls that walked away."
Moore, Danny O'Quinn and a 16-year-old girl in the front passenger seat were taken to St. Joseph Regional Health Center. Moore and O'Quinn remained hospitalized there Monday night.
The remaining seven girls were taken to College Station Medical Center, and six since have been treated and released.
Mayton said Moore and her front-seat passenger were the only two wearing seat belts. Under state law, passengers who are 17 and younger must wear seat belts no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle.
Margaret O'Quinn said the children decided to go for snowcones after rain ended a day of swimming.
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