ANDREWS, Texas (Nexstar)- Some good news out of Andrews, three of the students hospitalized after Friday’s bus crash are continuing to recover.
Band members Kaydence Matschek and Melody Avila have now been released from the hospital and are continuing to recover at home, according to family friend Kristie Sáenz. Tobias “Toby” Olivas remains hospitalized following a second surgery but is hoping to be released to an in-patient rehabilitation center to continue his recovery.
In a Facebook post, Sáenz, Toby’s aunt, wrote, “Our families would like to thank you all for your love, support, kind words and prayers. Please continue to pray for the community, the Johns and Boswell families as they navigate the loss of loved ones. Pray for all the band students also affected by the accident as they witnessed the events and have both physical and mental trauma. Pray for the first responders and hospital staff that treated all our beautiful children. Thank you to everyone who has donated and continues to donate and wants to help.”
Sáenz also said she and the families of the other students are thankful for the drivers along I-20 who stopped to help at the scene.
“We would like to thank the many people who stopped their vehicles and rushed to the sides (of the students) offering support and comforting our kids until they were airlifted from the scene.”
These students are now on the road to recovery and the Andrews community continues to show its support. The school district is accepting monetary donations in support of those affected by the crash. In a Facebook post, the district wrote, ““We have received an outpouring of support and people wanting to donate. To ensure the donations reach the appropriate people, please specify who you would like your donations to go to. We appreciate the outpouring of support, love and prayers during this difficult time.”
Anyone wishing to donate may do so here.
And businesses across Andrews are doing their part as well. Businesses we spoke to say that Andrews is a tight-knit community and when tragedy hits, everyone comes together to help one another.
Owner of Chic Threads clothing and former Mighty Mustang band member, Marus Contreras says that every year his store orders Andrews mustang t-shirts ahead of football season and after last week’s crash he decided to donate the proceeds from the remaining shirts to the victim’s families and the Mighty Mustangs band.
“We did sell out of the shirts we had… I was shocked, but at the same time I wasn’t because Andrews is such a tight-knit community and we’re always there for each other and Andrews really does go above and beyond,” Contreras said.
These donations will surely be welcome by the families impacted by the crash who are now facing unexpected hospital bills.
The crash happened November 19 as the Mighty Mustang Band was travelling to Sweetwater to perform at a playoff football game. According to the Department of Public Safety, a wrong-way driver hit the school bus head on. Three people were killed in the crash, including the band’s beloved director Darin Johns. 13 students were also injured in the crash.