CHANNELVIEW, Texas – Students gathered outside Channelview High School on Tuesday to welcome their fellow classmates home after others were injured during an early morning bus crash.
The bus was one of two on the way back to Texas after a band competition at Disney World in Florida. One of those buses crashed 50 feet into a ravine on the Alabama-Florida state line. The driver of that bus was killed.
That second bus continued home and arrived safely at the high school around 1:30 p.m.
Channelview ISD Superintendent Greg Ollis said there were 40 students on the bus that crashed along with six adults.
“Certainly there were some injuries—I don’t want to downplay that—but from when I got the call this morning and from what I saw, thank God we’re blessed and our students were better than what we anticipate,” Ollis said.
Ollis left for Alabama Tuesday afternoon. He said the district is working with parents to get all the students home and as safely as possible.
Classmates, including a band member who didn’t make the trip, spent the day outside the school.
“I started panicking and basically I texted some of my friends,” said band member Berenice Montelongo. “Some of them didn’t answer and that’s what worried me a little.
Student Council President Miriam Hernandez said the crash was like something you wouldn’t expect to happen.
Josh Torres said his 16-year-old sister, Bianca, was on the bus that crashed and his 14-year-old brother was on the bus that arrived home.
“We were just feeling helpless,” Torres said. “I was afraid my sister had died.”
Bianca was taken to a nearby hospital with some bruises, but Torres said she’ll be OK.
“Just hearing her voice and that she was OK, it was good,” Torres said.