Witness: Teen Hero in Deadly Missouri School Bus Crash
Two dead and 50 injured in crash, but it could've been worse, witness says.
Aug. 6, 2010 — -- In the chaotic aftermath of a deadly Missouri school bus crash Thursday, one of the teens on the bus, Megan Fleming, 16, snapped into action to keep her friends calm and check on injuries before leading them off the bus, one of the injured girls said today.
"She [Megan] was amazing," Audrey Hofherr, 16, who was on one of the two crashed buses, said today on "Good Morning America."
"She got everybody calm and got us all organized, had us all organized so we could get off the bus. We wouldn't have been able to get off without her. She was checking on everybody, making sure everybody was OK."
Audrey said the teens, who were on their way to Six Flags on a band trip, had no warning before the crash.
"Right before the accident, no one really thought anything of it. We were talking," she said. "We were all really excited about Six Flags. It was all of the sudden just jolted forward and people were screaming. It was just really scary."
One of the two teens killed in the wreck, Jessica Brinker, was a friend of Audrey's. She had celebrated her 16th birthday June 30.
"She was an amazing person and a great friend to anyone who met her," Audrey said of Jessica. "She was extremely brilliant and just one of those people that lit up the room."
In a statement released Wednesday night, Jessica's family said, "Jessica had asked that all friends, in the event of her death, to wear bright colors to celebrate her short life here on this planet and to rejoice in her new life with Christ."
According to Cpl. Jeff Wilson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Jessica was sitting in the last seat of the first bus, the point at which the second bus crashed into the first.
Although two, including Jessica, died in the crash, Audrey credited strangers who, along with Megan, helped rescue the injured from the wreckage, including at least one man that came into the bus to help get the injured out.
"We were so grateful that Good Samaritans came and helped us," Audrey said.
The crash occurred at about 10:15 a.m. Thursday when a tractor with no trailer was rear-ended by a pickup truck, according to Sgt. Dan Crain of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It is believed that the tractor had slowed due to construction on the highway.