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Student on EPISD charter bus details moments leading to deadly crash

Bus Crash Survivor shares his story

EL PASO, Texas - A student who was on the EPISD charter bus that crashed Sunday, killing a high school track coach, described the crash to ABC-7 on Monday.

"Everything just basically went to hell," Irvin High school Senior Jason Webb said.

Webb told ABC-7 that he was asleep in the moments leading up to the head-on collision on Highway 62/180, which killed two people near mile marker 94 in Hudspeth County.

"I heard an explosion and I felt my body move forward," Webb said. "I looked outside and saw a huge fire and I was scared." 

Webb said the team left Lubbock around 6 p.m. Sunday after the team had dinner at Steak 'n Shake. Around midnight, nearly six hours after leaving the track meet, Troopers said a pickup truck was traveling in the wrong direction and collided head-on with the bus around midnight. "I was fearing for my life," Webb said. "I thought I was going to die or something. It was terrifying."

Webb's top lip was injured, requiring a stitch and his left eye was bruised. He said one of his friends on the bus injured his jaw and another injured his leg.

Officials said two people were killed in the crash. The driver of the truck, 51-year-old Gary Lawson of Hobbs, New Mexico, died at the scene. 

The other victim was Irvin High School social science teacher and track and field coach Arcadio Duran.

"When he saw the driver coming at the bus, (Duran) stood up and told everyone to hang on," Webb said.

Texas Department of Public Safety officials said Duran also died at the scene.

"When they told me that Duran had passed away, at first I was in disbelief," junior track team member Anaiza Garcia said. "I didn't want to believe it, and I was praying I would see him Monday morning."

Students with whom ABC-7 spoke with said Duran's sincerity extended out of the classroom and off the track.

"He was like a father to me, and he was there to push me to do my best," Garcia said. "He loved everyone around him and he never had a bad feeling about everyone he was with."

"He will never be forgotten in this school," another student said. "He will always be a rocket."



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