Channelview High School parent asks for community's support for other families

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Sonia Torres’ daughter, Bianca, and son, Ryan, were both part of the Channelview High School band trip to Disney World. Bianca was on board the bus that crashed into a ravine. 

"Thank God Ryan was on the second bus and not on the first one because I don’t know how I would have functioned," said Torres.

The bus driver, Harry Caligone, died in the crash. Many others were injured and taken to hospitals including the band director, Aaron Allison, who sustained serious injuries.

Bianca was badly bruised but was still able to join others to help her peers get out of the bus.

"From what I understand, there was glass everywhere," added Torres. "They were smart enough to pull blankets covering the glass so that they could pull each other out of the bus."

Torres drove to Daphne, Ala. to be reunited with Bianca. Her daughter was waiting at Coastal Church surrounded by strangers who were caring for students -- even making t-shirts to show love to Channelview High School.

"It’s incredible to know that there were people there who didn’t even know my child and yet were there to be of support to her," Torres told FOX 26 News. She now worries about helping the families of others involved in the crash. She said that at last check, three of the injured people were still in the hospital and the instruments on the bus that crashed were destroyed.

Torres explained that many families in the school district struggle financially and the band trip to Disney World is every 4 years. She said that the band's booster club spends years fundraising for the trip. She added only a one-third of the students were able to able to go and she believes it's because it still may too costly for some. 

A barbecue fundraiser is planned for March 24 and more information on the band's booster club is available at

Torres said she's thankful the Channelview community sticks together and that more lives were not lost. She added that she is praying for the bus driver's family.

"There were angels surrounding the bus," concluded Torres.