Bus crash victims receive money from community

Bus crash victims receive money from community

Dozens of students involved in the Lee High School bus crash three weeks ago are still dealing with emotional and physical pain.

Thursday, though, a small step in the right direction; a gift from the community that will help those families deal with financial needs.

A total of $80,000 was evenly distributed among 40 families whose children were on board bus 5037.

If nothing else, a starting point in the right direction to help families heal.

"It was just scary going down.  The bus got on the ramp, tipped over and I didn't know what to do," says Freddie Washington, an 11th grader at Lee High School who was a passenger on that bus.

Still mortified by events that left his arm in a sling and his emotions entangled.

"It's been kind of traumatizing on him but he's getting through it," said his Freddie's Aunt Tanesha.

Getting through it, as best he can, with dozens of other students and their families.

All of them gathered in one room Thursday to accept monetary donations from the community.

It  won't heal their broken bones or bring those who perished back, but it's a way to show the families they are loved.

"We appreciate the community and everybody for their free spirit," said Marian Rose, whose son Kyle was on the school bus.

The parents, their children, grateful beyond words. Parents like Deneen Calavitta, knows exactly how $2,000 will meet her son Joshua's needs.

"To pay off what little medical bills he does have and for him to have a good Christmas," she said.

There are students like Kyle Rose, his lacerated spleen, bruised ribs, almost healed, the community gift, symbolic of his future is a new start and his readiness to forge ahead.

"Can't wait to play baseball," said Rose.

Tragically, not everyone can move forward.

Four teenage girls lost their lives.

Christine Collier is one of them.

Her mother and step-father, tortured by an unfair death.

"Mostly bad days for her.  Been trying to get her to go home but she's not ready for it yet.  So we won't have Christmas at home because it won't be the same,"  said Christine's stepfather, Kenneth White.

The WAFF 48 Lee High School Memorial Fund is open through the end of the year.

Donate at any branch of Redstone Federal Credit Union.

You can also make a donation at Santa's Village in downtown Huntsville all of the money will be evenly distributed between the 40 families.