Former band director remembers plane crash victim

EL PASO, Texas - The ABC-7 newsroom made numerous attempts to reach family members and friends of the victims of Wednesday's plane crash near Las Cruces.

Paramedic Tauren Summers was a 2004 Bel Air High graduate and a proud member of the Highlander marching band. ABC-7 spoke with the former band director.

Marty Olivas said he was devastated when he heard the news Thursday morning. His former student, just 28 years old, killed in a plane crash while doing his job helping others.

"(Taurean) was one of those kids, he had leadership skills, he would take the job nobody else wanted," said Olivas, the former band director at Bel Air.  "If you asked him to do something and you needed something from across the field, he would just sprint. He was a tall kid and a very strong kid and he would just run out there as fast as he could, go get it and bring it back. 'Anything else sir? What else do you need sir?' Just that kind of man."

Olivas said Summers had been married in just the past couple of years and was expecting his first child in February.

"He had a great future ahead of him," he said.

At the Elite Medical Transport offices on Texas Street in Downtown El Paso, the president of the company, Rob Campion, greeted an ABC-7 reporter at the door. He said any information on the crash must come from the NTSB. He added that they do not want to comment at this time on camera out of respect to the grieving families."

Campion did release a statement: "We are deeply grieved by the loss of the patient and our friends and coworkers. our thoughts, prayers and support are with their families and friends."

Olivas said he first got to know Summers when he was teaching with his mother at Desertaire Elementary School in Northeast El Paso, where she still teaches.

"I can't imagine how she feels," an emotional Olivas said. "It's sad."

Olivas, who is now the Fine Arts Department instructional specialist at the Ysleta Independent School District, said he hopes to have the Bel Air band bagpipers pay tribute to Summers and his family at an upcoming football game.

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