updated 1/2/2008 6:04:08 PM ET 2008-01-02T23:04:08

A chartered bus coming from Mexico veered off a highway early Wednesday and overturned, killing one passenger and injuring dozens of others, at least six of them critically, authorities said.

Some of the passengers crawled out an emergency exit on the roof.

The bus had left Monterrey, Mexico, on Tuesday evening and was headed to Houston when it crashed on U.S. 59 several hours before dawn, authorities said.

"The investigation is centering on driver fatigue," said Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. "It looks like he ran off the road, way overcorrected then tipped over on the passenger side."

Passenger Francisco Cardenas, 66, who was returning from a holiday in Monterrey, said he was awakened by screams.

"The hardest thing was to see all the other people," said Cardenas, who had a cut on his face, blood on his shirt and blood on his shoes. "There was no way out."

He said people eventually pushed the emergency exit on the roof to escape.

Pickup hits overturned bus
After the bus ended up on its side, it was struck by a small pickup, Vinger said. The driver of the truck was not injured.

The bus was operated by Capricorn Bus Lines Inc. of Houston. Francisca Flores, manager of the family-owned company, said it has four buses and only makes trips between Houston and Monterrey. She said 47 people were on the bus but declined to elaborate, beyond saying it was the first wreck in the company's nine-year history.

The identity of the man who died was not released.

Vinger said the driver was not seriously injured, and that it was too early to tell whether he could face charges. His name also was not released.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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