ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Police cars swarmed the Greyhound bus station in north Abilene Thursday evening, but officers weren’t making an arrest, they were assisting more than 30 passengers that had been stranded near Merkel for as long as 10 hours.
A Facebook post from the Merkel Police Department says the passengers’ bus broke down between mile markers 268 and 269 on I-20 East earlier in the day. Local agencies such as the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, Texas State Troopers, and Merkel PD responded to the site around 9 p.m. to what was originally a disturbance call, but – after learning more about the passengers’ frustrations- shuttled the riders to a Merkel truck stop.
Bus rider Aldeaner Brass says she’s been traveling by bus from Oakland, California since Tuesday and has encountered trouble the entire way.
“Every bus I’ve been on has broken down. I’m finally on my way home to Monroe, Louisiana. If I get there,” says Brass.
A relief bus picked the passengers up at the truck stop, then headed toward Abilene to connect with the final bus that would take the riders to their destination of Dallas. However, passengers were traveling much more lightly than intended. A company policy and an issue with the luggage hold’s air-lock doors forced the relief bus to leave their belongings behind on the broken-down bus, the driver allegedly telling them they’d be reunited down the line with their luggage somehow.
Merkel PD, along with a kind passersby, continued to work on the locked doors after the relief bus departed, managing to get it open and retrieve the passengers’ luggage – some of which contained necessary medications. Officers from Merkel and Tye then drove the luggage to the Abilene station where it was reunited with passengers.
“If that was our family or if [those were] our loved ones out there, we’d want someone to do the same for us. It was just the right thing to do,” said Merkel Police Chief Phillip Conklin.
BigCountryHomePage reached out to a Greyhound bus spokesperson but have yet to make meaningful contact.