CENTERVILLE — The search continued Friday for a Texas inmate serving a life sentence for murder who escaped from a transport bus after stabbing the driver.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, escaped custody Thursday after he overpowered the driver, whose injuries were not considered life-threatening, said Jason Clark, chief of staff for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Lopez was convicted in 2006 of killing a man along the Texas-Mexico border.

Lopez escaped in Leon County, a rural area between Dallas and Houston. Classes in the nearby Centerville Independent School District were canceled Friday as a precaution.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office said several agencies were involved in the search Friday, including aircraft from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

There were 16 prisoners aboard the bus but no one else escaped, Clark said.

Leon County has roughly 16,000 residents and is about 50 miles north of the state's prison headquarters.

Prison records show Lopez was most recently being held at a lockup in Gatesville, more than 100 miles from where authorities were searching.

Other prisoners in Texas have also escaped transport vehicles over the years. Among the most recent was in 2019 when an MMA fighter suspected of killing two people from Temple fled from a van in Conroe and was missing for nine hours. Authorities said he was eventually found hiding in a trash can.

That escapee, Cedric Marks, is charged in the slayings of two Temple residents.

Marks, 47, of Killeen, faces capital murder of multiple persons, a capital felony; burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a felony, a first-degree felony; tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; and various misdemeanor charges.

Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza is seeking the death penalty for Marks for allegedly killing Temple residents Jenna Scott, 28, and Michael Swearingin, 32, on Jan. 3, 2019.