HISD Board To Thank Pershing Middle School Heroes

May 13, 2010

The HISD Board of Education will thank six people for their heroic actions in getting members of the Pershing Middle School Band safely off a burning charter bus tonight at their 5 p.m. meeting.

The incident happened on May 9 when one of the buses tires caught on fire. The band was on their way home from Orlando after winning first place and grand prize at a national band contest. Members of the band and their adult chaperones where on their way back to Houston on two charter buses; one for the boys and one for the girls.

As the buses were coming into Westlake, Louisiana, just outside Lake Charles, the bus carrying the male students had a blow out on an interstate bridge and caught fire. Assistant Principal Danny Fiorella and adult chaperones Linda Foote, Sharon Alcee, Diana Perez, Gustavo Luna and Robin Truitt sprang into action and got the students off the bus quickly and safely and then kept the students out of harm’s way until they could be transported off of the interstate bridge. Thanks to the efforts of these six people, there were no injuries.

The charter bus was totally consumed in flames and thick black smoke in a matter of minutes. All the instruments and personal belongings on the bus were destroyed along with the First Place Trophy.

A few hours later, the male students boarded a replacement bus and both buses headed home. Students were greeted at Pershing Middle School by thankful, and in many cases, tearful parents. After all, it was also Mother’s Day.

Since then, the school has had an outpouring of support. Saint Luke’s Hospital pledged $2000, Cox Radio is scheduling a fundraiser and Allegro Music is providing loaner instruments for the band’s annual end of year concert which is on May 20, at 7p.m.

Insurance is expected to cover at least some of the loss. HISD’s Risk Management and Legal Departments are closely monitoring the progress of the insurance claim.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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