Family of church bus driver: Tell your parents 'what they mean to you'

More than a week after their father died in a deadly bus crash, Murray Barrett's family is coping with the loss of someone they say was an incredibly religious and generous man.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -- It's been a week since a head-on crash in Uvalde County took the lives of 13 people heading home from a church retreat.

For the first time, the family of the man driving the church bus talked publicly about the crash.

"There have been periods you cry so much you can't catch your breath, and periods you laugh so hard you can't catch your breath," Jenn Barrett said.

She and her siblings are having trouble thinking about life without their dad.

"I don't think I can think about getting married, I don't think I can think about having kids without dad, but I can think about taking one more step, one more breath, and what do we need to do today," Jenn Barrett said.

Murray Barrett's children said they've learned more about their dad in the last week than they ever have before.

"He never really talked about himself, he was so invested in everybody else," Jenn Barrett said.

Barrett was a family man, a mentor, a teacher, and a volunteer.

"My dad grew up without a father and he became a father to so many people," Jenn Barrett said.

Murray Barrett volunteered as a bus driver at First Baptist Church New Braunfels.

He was driving 13 senior adults home from a retreat when their bus was hit head on by a truck, driven by 20-year-old Jack Young.

Young and one person on the bus are the only survivors.

"Every single person who was on that bus was actively changing people's lives and so it's really hard to see them go, like how is that fair? And you can't just ask why," Jenn Barrett said.

Those Murray Barrett influenced in his 67 years of life have shared calls, flowers, and cards.

"We did read some of those together as a family and it's really, really hard to try and not cry through a lot of those," Matt Barrett said.

More than anything, Barrett's children said their dad wanted people to hear about Jesus.

Something they say is happening more since the crash.

"I honestly think my dad wouldn't have changed anything after seeing the impact. My dad was the type when a kid was being baptized he'd be shaking so much because he loved people and he loved Jesus and he's in heaven, and to know even in his death he's bringing people with him, I think that would make him happy," Jenn Barrett said.

Barrett's children have peace knowing they were on great terms with their dad, and want others to make peace with their loved ones, too.

"Don't leave anything unsaid with your family, don't wait until your parents have passed away to go through photo books with them, cherish all those memories, tell them how you feel about them and what they mean to you because you never know when your last conversation is going to be," Matt Barrett said.

As for Young, the Barrett's said they have no animosity toward him.

"I know he hasn't had an easy life and I know he's going to have a rough future and honestly, I pray for him as
as much as anyone else in this," Jenn Barrett said.

"I hope that he's able to pick up again and to have a good life and that he can move on as well," Matt Barrett said.

They said that's what their dad would want, too.

A memorial service for Murray Barrett is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 at First Baptist Church New Braunfels. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. with services following at 2 p.m.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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