MISSION, Texas -- The death toll from the nation's third worst bus accident in history rose to 21 Friday with the death of a 15-year-old girl injured in the Sept. 21 accident.
Elizabeth Flores, 15, of Alton died shortly before noon at Mission Hospial, said administrator Tom Symonds. Flores had been in critical condition on a respirator since her arrival at the hospital, Symonds said.
Flores' 18-year-old brother, Raul Flores Jr., also died in the accident earlier this month near Alton in the Rio Grande Valley.
The accident, the worst of its kind in the history of Texas and the third worst nationally, occurred when a school bus carrying junior high and high school children to Mission and a soft drink truck collided in the small town of Alton, plunging the shool bus into a water-filled gravel pit.
'It's a continuation of the shock,' the Rev. Frank Gomez, a Roman Catholic priest at San Martin de Porres Church in Alton, said of Flores' death.
Gomez, who presided at Raul Flores' funeral, said he would preside at services for Elizabeth Flores at 10 a.m. Monday.
'We were resting after the last funeral, but here is another one,' said Gomez, who presided at funerals for seven victims.
Twenty of the 80 children on the bus, ranged in age from 12 to 18, died the day of the accident, most of them due to drowning, authorities said.
'People are still going to the place where it happened and leaving flowers,' Gomez said.
A National Transportation Safety Board team is in the Rio Grande Valley investigating the accident.
Although Department of Public Safety investigators said the driver of the truck told them his brakes failed immediately before the collision, federal investigators reported they found no signs of brake failure on the truck. Their final report will not be issued for a year.
Symonds said eight children and the school bus driver remain hospitalized at Mission Hospital.