COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) — The parents of a bus passenger who survived a fiery crash on Interstate 6 say they are grateful to those who stopped to help their son and his girlfriend.
Texas A&M students were the only passengers aboard the Santa Wonderland shuttle bus when it was hit by an SUV shortly after midnight Sunday near the academy store in College Station.
The collision sparked a huge fire targeting the two cars. The sports car driver was killed at the scene. Police officers and bystanders pulled the occupants of the vehicle and the bus driver from and away from the burning vehicles.
No names were released but family members identified the bus driver as Calvin Hill, a coach at Rudder High School in Bryan.
The family of the young man on the bus asked us not to release their names, but said he and his girlfriend exited the bus with only minor injuries.
They credit the onlookers with helping save the young couple.
“We are so grateful to the few Good Samaritans who stopped by to help our kids and the off-duty officer on his way home who happened to be driving right after the accident. The officer made sure our kids were okay, and when he heard my son tell him the driver was still on the bus, He ran and made a heroic effort to get Mr. Hill out of the bus, which was rapidly engulfed in flames. “He is a true hero and must be publicly recognized for his bravery,” said the father.
The family says Hill, who is now recovering in a Houston hospital, made an unforgettable impression on the survivors.
“In the very short time my son was on the bus, 15-20 minutes, and he had never met the driver before, my son spoke highly of Mr. Hill. He said that Mr. Hill was very nice and friendly to them and that they would give him good advice. “If Mr. Hill from making such a positive impact on my son’s life in such a short time, I can only imagine what an amazing man he must be with all his students.”
Many bystanders were greeted as heroes in the aftermath of the crash, including a tow truck driver, several people who risked their lives to pull victims out of the flames, and a woman who gave her phone to bus passengers.
“Some angels carry cell phones,” said the mother. “I let my son borrow her phone so he could call us. I only know her name is Tonya. I stayed with my son and his girlfriend while the emergency personnel dealt with the accident.”
College Station Police say they are still investigating the cause of the accident.
A preliminary investigation indicates that the driver was heading south on the freeway’s bypass when, for an unknown reason, he crossed several lanes of the freeway and collided with the bus, which was heading north.
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