Lee High School Bus Crash: 5 years later - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Lee High School Bus Crash: 5 years later

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Five years ago today marks a dark day in Huntsville history.

On November 20th 2006, a bus from Lee High School headed to the Huntsville Center For Technology plunged from I-565 to the gravel below, killing four students and injuring nearly 40 others.

It was her 18th birthday and after being pieced back together at Huntsville Hospital, Felicia Collier was allowed to return home to recuperate.

"I wasn't able to see myself until I got home, when I finally looked in the mirror, that's when I realized something bad had happened," she Collier.

Six months later, still scared physically and mentally, she got up the nerve to go to prom. Eventually, it was on to high school, then college graduation.

Five years and 11 surgeries later, Felicia is now a beaming business owner and no longer hiding her scars.

"I'm just living with it. I've stopped wearing my hair in my face, I'm proud to be here," she said.

It was chaos under the overpass that November day. Felicia remembers nothing. Her mother Laura, remembers everything. There were two Collier girls on that bus. One was dead and one was in critical condition. Their injuries made them difficult to identify. Felicia survived.

"That was a miracle. All I can remember doing was screaming and thanking God," said Laura Collier, Felicia's mother.

Felicia is Laura's only child. They are inseparable. Last year, Felicia stood by her mother after her breast cancer diagnosis. Both women stand together in Felicia's new clothing boutique she calls "Fe's."

Felicia bought the boutique after her lawsuit was settled. Besides the boutique, she has built two houses; one for her parents and one for her, complete with pool.

And she's even got a little surprise coming after the New Year, a baby boy she will name Rylan.

It was another miracle in a series of amazing events for a 22-year-old who could have died at age 17.

Felicia will celebrate her 23rd birthday on December 1st. She will have her last surgery to correct her left eye, next spring.

She said she passes by the scene of the bus crash sometimes but never looks over there. She said she just keeps on moving forward.


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