#PrayforIraan Blog: Key Witness in Crash Contacts DPS

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BIG SPRING -- 7:04 p.m. Update: DPS tells CBS 7 the key witness of the crash has contacted the Department.

Liz Castaneda Pope, 52, was pronounced dead after a Friday night crash involving Iraan-Sheffield cheerleaders. Pope was a cheer sponsor. (Photo from Facebook)

DPS spokesperson Oscar Villareal says the driver of a black Dodge Challenger may shed light on the investigation.

"They may have seen what caused the car in front of the 18-wheeler to slam on its brakes," Villareal said, "We don't know why that car slammed on its brakes."

Meanwhile, officials with University Medical Center in Lubbock say the bus driver, Christina Garlock, is now listed in serious but stable condition.

Cheerleaders Katie Kent and Kiara Hodge are both listed in stable condition. While the fourth person, Lynda Martinez, has been released.

5:40 p.m. Update: An account has now been set up to help those affected by the bus crash at the Brave National Bank.

The account information is listed as:
Pray for Iraan Benefit Fund - Fund 3230173
Brave National Bank
P.O. Box 577
Iraan, TX 79744
Fund#230173

12:50 p.m. Update: According to Iraan-Sheffield ISD Superintendent Kevin Allen, a truck came across the interstate trying to avoid another wreck when it came into oncoming traffic, crashing into the bus carrying the cheerleaders.

"We're in a time of shock and grief and we're trying to piece everything together and figure out how do we best need to handle this when we have school on Monday," said Allen.

According to DPS spokesperson Sergeant Oscar Villarreal, the preliminary crash report of last night's crash has not been released, though he says it could be available around 4 p.m.
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11:10 a.m. Update: According to a house supervisor at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Christina Garlock is currently in critical condition and is undergoing surgery at this time.
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10:45 a.m. Update: Iraan High School Principle Jim Baum released this statement to CBS 7:

"I can let you know that three of our girls were treated and released this morning and three more, along with their sponsor were transferred to Lubbock for continued care. Our community is tremendously grateful to the first responders from Big Spring, the folks who stopped to render aid, and the staff at Scenic View. The love and compassion they showed our kids and community are evidence that we still love one another in West Texas."

Below is video from Friday night's game between the Iraan Braves and Munday showing the Braves cheerleaders performing in front of the crowd.


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10:40 a.m. Update: Amanda Duforat, with Scenic Mountain Medical Center Public Relations spoke with CBS 7 on the crash:

"Due to the nature of the situation and no more information being available, the hospital won't be making a statement. Through the entire event, as it always is, the main focus was to take care of the patient and provide the best quality care. We are sorry, there is no further information to be released.
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10:30 a.m. Update: The Mayor of Odessa, David Turner, has released this statement to CBS 7 following last night's crash:

"I just called and left a message for the mayor of Iraan and expressed our support, and told him the citizens of Odessa are praying for them and if we can do anything please let us know."
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10:25 a.m. Update: According to the Iraan-Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, tonight's Santa's visit/Light Up Iraan has been postponed indefinitely.
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10:18 a.m. Update: According to Margaret G. Holmes, the school board president Iraan-Sheffield ISD, the woman killed in last night's crash was Liz Castaneda Pope, a sponsor of the cheer team.

Pope's sister, Christina Garlock, is currently being treated at UMC Lubbock.

"We are heartbroken, and our community is grieving."
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9:55 a.m. Update: According to Margaret G. Holmes, the school board president Iraan-Sheffield ISD, three of the of the cheerleaders involved in last night's crash have been transported to a Lubbock hospital for treatment.

Holmes also confirms that the other cheerleaders involved in the crash have now been treated and released.

Holmes asks for continued prayers for their community.
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9:35 a.m. Update: Howard County Justice of the Peace Robert Fitzgibbons confirms that a 52-year-old woman was pronounced dead following the cheerleader bus crash.
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9:20 a.m. Update: Interstate travel is no longer impacted by the crash overnight.
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8:55 a.m. Update: This morning officials at University Medical Center in Lubbock confirm with CBS 7 that Christina Garlock is about to be admitted into a hospital room from the hospital's EC.

Her condition is still unknown at this time.


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ORIGINAL STORY:
Hospital administrators and investigators have not released any new information about the condition of those injured in a cheerleader bus crash along I-20 in Howard County late Friday night.

The Iraan-Sheffield ISD bus was carrying cheerleaders headed back from Colorado City, a school official confirmed overnight after a playoff football game between Iraan and Munday.

Scenic Mountain Medical Center confirmed eight people were transported -- two with critical injuries, others serious. Four of those people were transferred to other hospitals. Saturday morning, Hospital Spokesperson Amanda Moreno said it was unclear if the hospital would be releasing much info today with the patient transfers.

“Due to the nature of the situation, we’ve decided not to make a statement,” Moreno said Saturday morning.

Meanwhile Lubbock UMC said it was "awaiting" transfer of Christina Garlock, who is listed as staff at the school.

The bus, filled with cheerleaders, crashed near mile markers 174-176. CBS 7 is awaiting preliminary results of a DPS crash report. Calls to the area representative have not been returned Saturday morning.

We will update you with as much information as we can by 10 a.m. on CBS 7 and online.