Photo of the lights on a school bus. (credit: Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

(credit: Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

MINERAL WELLS (CBSDFW.COM) – A school bus in Mineral Wells was involved in a hit-and-run crash early Friday morning. It happened just before 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of FM 1195 and MH 379, not far from the Mineral Wells Airport, according to Chief Dean Sullivan with the Mineral Wells Police Department.

Authorities and officials with the Mineral Wells Independent School District said that nine students, ranging from 6 years old to high school aged, were taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. They did not appear to be seriously hurt, but the hospital visits were made out of an abundance of caution, stated Superintendent Dr. Gail Haterius. “We always want to take precautions and make sure our kids are safe,” she said.

The children were being taken to different schools across the city at the time of the crash, Haterius explained. Somewhere between 18 and 20 people were on the bus in total.

Sullivan said that the bus was stopped at the intersection, facing north on FM 1195. The vehicle was just beginning to turn when it was struck from behind by a pickup truck. The impact forced the bus into a ditch. The female bus driver checked on the children while the suspect fled from the scene, heading northbound.

A witness called 911 and followed the suspect. Police were able to locate that man and arrest him a short time later. He was then later identified as 26-year-old Matthew Cougar of Strawn. Investigators plan to conduct a blood draw to find out if alcohol played any role in the crash.

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