Two Texas children riding in the bucket of a backhoe were killed Saturday after they were dumped from the vehicle and run over by the driver, authorities said.
The incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m. near Roanoke, about 25 miles north of Fort Worth, KXAS reported. A 7-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene, the television station reported. Two other children were injured and were hospitalized, along with an adult, according to KXAS. The driver, Vijender Chauhan, was unhurt.
Chauhan, 40, of Crowley, was arrested and booked Sunday into the Denton County Jail in connection with the children’s deaths, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported. He was charged with two counts of manslaughter, three counts of endangering a child and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to KTVT.
Chauhan posted $280,000 later Sunday and was released, the Record-Chronicle reported.
According to The Star-Telegram of Fort Worth, the children killed were Chauhan’s. Shivraj Chauhan, 7, and Sonakshi Chauhan, 11, were identified by the newspaper, which cited an email from the children’s private school in Fort Worth.
The deceased children were students at Trinity Valley School, the newspaper reported. Police have not officially revealed any relationships between the driver and the victims, according to KXAS.
“It is difficult to find the words to express the sorrow we all feel for the loss of our young students,” Blair Lowry, the school’s principal, wrote in the email, according to the Star-Telegram. “Teachers, coaches and administrators have provided opportunities for students to navigate their grief or to find solace in play or routine. We will continue to support our students in the days and weeks to come.”
Lonny Haschel, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the newspaper that Vijender Chauhan was driving a John Deere backhoe with “multiple children and adults” riding on various moving parts of the vehicle.
“While in motion, the driver of the backhoe operated equipment causing the front bucket to dump, and occupants riding in the bucket fell to the ground,” Haschel said.
The digger was in motion when the bucket dumped the children, KTVT reported.
If convicted of the manslaughter charges, Chauhan faces two to 20 years in prison, the Record-Chronicle reported.