EL PASO, Texas - The community has rallied together following a bus crash that killed Irvin High School's track coach and injured 17 students and coaches.
A charter bus carrying 34 El Paso Independent School District students and athletic staff returning from a track meet in Lubbock was involved in a deadly head-on crash Sunday morning. It happened on Highway 62/180 in Hudspeth County. Officials said two people died at the scene including 48-year-old Irvin High School track coach and social studies teacher Arcadio "Archie" Duran and the driver of the pickup truck, 51-year-old Gary Lawson of Hobbs, N.M. 17 people were injured.
Officials with the Department of Public Safety told Abc-7 a pickup truck was driving in the wrong direction and collided with the bus head on.
EPISD officials say the bus was carrying students and coaches from Jefferson, Austin, El Paso, Burges, Andress and Irvin High Schools. The team was returning from a UIL regional track meet.
During a news conference Sunday, officials took the time today during the conference to thank the coaching staff for acting quickly to make sure the kids got off the bus safely and away from the flames caused by the head-on collision.
"Truly heroes, when the truck hit the bus it became enflamed and so the coaches, despite their own injuries some cases very severe injuries, they were helping the kids to make sure they were all getting out of the bus, they had to pull them through the front window to get them out," Board President Dori Fenenbock said.
The superintendent also took the time to thank fellow school districts. Juan Cabrera said Canutillo and Socorro teams were traveling in the caravan from Lubbock with their students in separate buses. Cabrera says they stopped immediately offering help to give the students involved in the crash shelter and comfort.
"They remained with us until all of our students and staff were cared for. It is times such as these that remind us that we are all one family, one community - all focused on taking care of kids," Superintendent Juan Cabrera said.
A GoFundMe account has been created by the family. If you'd like to donate you can click HERE.
There was also an outpouring of support on social media from different schools and community members.
Guerrero sends our thoughts & prayers to Coach Duran's family, Irvin HS, the @ELPASO_ISD community & all involved in the tragic accident.— Guerrero Elementary (@Guerrero_Aztecs) April 30, 2017
Bulldawg Football sends our condolences to Irvin HS, Coach Duran's family & all the athletes, coaches & families from @ELPASO_ISD affected.— Bulldawg Football (@LCHSFOOTBALL) May 1, 2017
Coach Duran, thank you for sharing your passion and love with all of us. One of the greatest men and fathers I've ever met. pic.twitter.com/kvayhlDomG— Irvin HS Hoops (@ihsrocketsbball) May 1, 2017
Our prayers and condolences to Coach Duran's family and the Irvin High staff.— Tony Reza (@SISD_FIN) April 30, 2017
Sending our thoughts & prayers to Coach Duran's family and to our fellow basketball players & coaches at @EPIrvinHSGBB 🙏— El Paso High GBB (@ephgb) May 1, 2017
Our condolences and prayers go out to the family of coach Duran whom will always be remembered.— PanthersGirlsSoccer (@AHSSoccer_girls) May 1, 2017
On behalf of 🦅 ⚾️ our condolences and support go out to Coach Duran's loved ones, Irvin and EPISD! Prayers for all involved. 🙏🏼— CHS Eagles Baseball (@CanutBaseball) May 1, 2017
The Texas Girls Coaches Assocation mourns the death of Archie Duran, Jr., a member from El Paso Irvin. He was the Head Girls' Track coach.— Sam Tipton (@TiptonSam) May 1, 2017
Our thoughts, prayers, and deep condolences go out to the family of Coach Duran, Irvin HS, and all involved in last night's tragic event.— Brown Middle School (@bulldogsbms1) April 30, 2017
Prayers go out to the EPISD and Coach Duran's family. From all the Socorro Family.— SocorroBulldogFB (@SocorroBulldogs) April 30, 2017
Prayers go out to the EPISD family and Coach Duran's Family from the Socorro Family.— Marcus Graham (@CoachGrahamFB) April 30, 2017
Our thoughts, prayers, and deep condolences go out to the family of Coach Duran, Irvin HS, and all involved in last night's tragic event.— EPISD Instr. Tech. (@EPISD_InstrTech) April 30, 2017
Our athletes, coaches, and families are in our prayers. May our Rocket family stay strong during this tough time.— IHS Rocket Vision (@IHS_RVTV) April 30, 2017
Praying for EPISD and the individuals involved in the crash. My condolences also go out to the ones affected by this fatal accident.— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) April 30, 2017