The Albuquerque Police Department has released terrifying footage of the moment the speeding driver of a Ford Mustang T-boned a fully-loaded school bus in late February.
Mario Perez, 49, was driving a white Mustang at more than 100 mph (161 km/h) at the time, allegedly while in a race with a blue Mustang that fled the scene. The speed limit in the area is 40 mph (64 km/h).
Perez’s Mustang slammed into one of the wheels of the school bus, flipping it over and flinging the passengers throughout the bus’s cabin. Seven of the children in the bus were taken to a nearby hospital after the crash, including two with serious leg injuries, one with a broken femur, and a 13-year-old school student with a pelvic fracture.
The driver of the blue Mustang allegedly fled the scene after the accident. Perez suffered a broken femur that required surgery and showed no signs of intoxication at the time of the crash.
“They were racing,” the bus driver revealed to police. “There were two, a white car and the Mustang that’s there, all damaged. They were speeding on each lane. And the guy didn’t have anywhere to go – so when I was across, this guy was beating him so he just went straight into me.”
Perez has been charged with two counts of reckless driving causing great bodily harm, a charge that carries up to six years in prison, Fox News reports.
“Those children on that bus could have died because people were literally just having fun in their sports cars. That should never be acceptable,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said during a press conference after the crash.
Footage taken in the aftermarket of the crash shows the school bus resting on its side and against a brick wall. The front end of the Mustang was completely destroyed in the accident.