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Houston school bus driver leaves hospital with cuts and bruises after deadly crash

Investigators work around a Houston school bus, left, after it drove off a highway overpass, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Houston, killing two students and seriously injuring three other people, police and school officials said. The bus driver, Louisa Pacheco (inset), left the hospital without serious injury. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Investigators work around a Houston school bus, left, after it drove off a highway overpass, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Houston, killing two students and seriously injuring three other people, police and school officials said. The bus driver, Louisa Pacheco (inset), left the hospital without serious injury. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Just 12 hours after the terrifying crash in Houston that claimed the lives of two teenagers, the driver of the school bus that plunged off an overpass walked out of Ben Taub General Hospital, shaken but uninjured beyond cuts and bruises.

Louisa Pacheco told local CBS station KHOU-TV, “I thought I was going to die.” 

Pacheco, who left the hospital clutching the arm of her daughter Jacelyn, said she was driving and heard something on the left side. "After this, I don't remember nothing."

Victor Senties, a Houston Police Department spokesperson, told KHOU that a Buick Le Sabre was on one side of the bus. "She jerked the wheel to the right," Senties said of Pacheco. After overcorrecting back to the left, he said, she ended up "striking the left driver's side of the school bus" against the guard rail and sending the bus off the overpass.

The bus landed on its side, in pieces and with the roof smashed in. A female student died at the scene and another died at a hospital.

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Two other Houston Independent School District students were hospitalized with serious injuries. District officials didn't announce an update to their conditions early Wednesday.

Pacheco said that she has been driving a bus for eight years and has a clean driving record, according to KHOU. She told the TV station that she loves her job because she gets to “take care of the kids.”

Her daughter said she’s thankful her mother wasn’t more seriously hurt. “That’s really hard to believe after seeing the photographs.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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