School bus crash on route to high school kills two

Bailey Willits, Journalism One

In Houston, a school bus flipped over the 610 South Loop killing two students and injuring two other students and the bus driver. A Houston ISD teacher was driving a gold Buick LeSabre on the loop. The teacher thought another vehicle was going into her lane, so she served to avoid it, striking the school bus.

The school bus was going to Furr High School and had four students on board. When the bus was hit, it crashed into the guard wall, falling off the 610 freeway and landed on its side on Telephone Road.

A witness, Martin Anthony, says that the bus came off the freeway and went about five feet into the air. It went nose down and flipped. Many witnesses rushed over to help but could not do much because of the way the bus landed.

Mariya Alyss Johnson, 17, died on impact while 14 year old Janecia Chatman was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she later died.

Johnsons mother, Melody Johnson, says the only way she knew about her daughter’s death was an automated voicemail form the school district at 9:09 a.m. The voicemail said,” A female student was killed and other students on the bus were seriously injured,”

The second call came in a 10:34 AM, saying two were killed. 

Johnson said that her daughter had previously complained that she didn’t feel safe with the bus driver’s driving.

Janecia Chatmann aunt, Meche Steele says that Janecia was fun and so excited about starting school as a freshman.

Steele said, ” My sister is home with the other siblings. We’re gonna get through this. We’re asking everyone to keep us in your prayers.”

A third female, Lakeisha Williams, 14, a male student, Brandon Williams, 17, and the 45-year-old bus driver, Luisa Pacheco, were all rushed to the hospital. The Williams were twins and cousins of Janecia. They suffered severe injuries. It is unclear when they will be released from the hospital.

The HISD school board said,”This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. There’s a huge sense of loss whenever you lose any child and I can’t imagine what those families are going through and our deepest and sincerest condolences and prayers. And we ask that everyone in Houston be in prayer however they choose for those families”

A growing memorial has started to form at the crash site. Angelica Gomez said, “No parent wants to lose their child in such a horrible way, they’re just kids, they were just going to school. They weren’t doing anything bad; they were just on their way to school. I’m a mom. I mean, it doesn’t matter how old they are, they’re always your babies. I just wanted to let them know they’re in my prayers.”