Help Pouring In For Flower Mound Archery Students After Bus Fire

Thursday, May 8th 2014, 10:41 pm
By: News 9

Donations are pouring in from around the state as a charter bus fire ends a trip to a national archery competition for students in Lawton.

The chartered bus was carrying 33 people, including 13 children Thursday before it went up in flames.

There were some scary moments early Thursday morning for the young archery team. Students, parents and coaches from Flower Mound School out of Lawton were heading to Louisville, Ky.

"When my phone goes off at 3:30 a.m., there's nothing good that goes through your mind," said Flower Mound School Superintendent, Diana Jackson. "And I knew it wasn't good. The next words were, ‘Our bus is on fire.'"

Jackson says last year was the first year they put together a team to compete in a national archery competition.

"And we get to state and qualified for nationals, and it was like, ‘Oh my goodness'," said Jackson.

Their big day was coming up and with the help of the community they were able to raise more than $12,000 for the competition.

"All of a sudden, we hear this bang noise," said parent Kristie Weber.

Weber was the first parent to see fire under the bus.

"I could see the flickering of the flames on the side of the ground," said Weber.

"I was sleeping when they started yelling ‘Get off the bus!'"  said Kristie's daughter, Kenzie. "It kind of scared me."

5/8/2014 Related Story: Creek Turnpike Charter Bus Fire Ends Lawton Students' Trip

Kristie's daughters, Kenzie and Aleah Weber tried to grab their things, but there was no time.

"Within five minutes, the bus was just going and there was no saving anything," said Weber. "Basically we got off the bus with what we were wearing."

"Whenever we got outside, I saw that the flames were coming up," said Aleah Weber.

"It went from get off the bus, to be fully engulfed pretty quickly," said parent Jason Vanhoozer.

The fire destroyed everything including thousands of dollars in luggage and archery equipment.

"We would go over and would comfort them and make sure they knew it was going to be okay," said Weber. "We got out alive with this one."

A company has offered to pay for round trip plane tickets to and from the archery competition. But right now, the school says it's no longer planning to compete this year.