Hispanic Prisoner Escapes Bus After Stabbing Driver; He was serving a life sentence for the murder of a man.

Gonzalo López, 46, was serving a life sentence for murder.

Photo: Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Courtesy

LEON COUNTY – The community in the area of ​​the town of Centerville, Texas is on alert this Friday after a prisoner escaped from a transport bus this Thursday after stabbing the driver.

The Hispanic prisoner, Gonzalo López, 46, was serving a life sentence for murder.

His escape has sparked a search in a rural county between Dallas and Houston, authorities said.

Various law enforcement agencies were searching an area near an interstate in Leon County for Lopez, who was convicted in 2006 of killing another man along the Texas-Mexico border.

“There were 16 prisoners on board the bus, but no one else escaped,” said Jason Clark, chief of staff for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The official said Lopez overpowered the driver, a corrections officer, but it was unclear if he took control of the bus or simply ran off the road.

The driver’s injuries are not considered life-threatening, Clark said.

Leon County has approximately 16,000 residents and is about 50 miles north of the state prison site.

Prison records show Lopez was recently held in a holding cell in Gatesville, more than 100 miles from where authorities were searching.