All of the Channelview High School Band members who spent the day Coastal Church in Daphne have been picked up by their parents. Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack says some families decided to stay overnight in the area and go back to Houston on Wednesday, while others headed back Tuesday night. About a dozen students stayed at the church all day.
We spoke to parent Jose Martinez before he drove back to Channelview, Texas, after picking up his daughter in Daphne. He made the long drive to the church with his other daughter. He told us he's thanking God his daughter is OK, and also thanked the people of Alabama for their support.
His other daughter, Erica, told us this before they left:
"It's a little shocking but we're OK now…everybody in the church and in the city, they were very nice and we're very thankful that they took care of our students."
All day, folks in the community dropped by with food, gas cards, and other donations, while hotels in the area donated rooms for the families.
Coastal Church Pastor Chad Stafford was there as parents reunited with their children.
"They've been speaking to them all day, but there's nothing like holding your kid after a traumatic event like this. The main thing that parents have been talking about is how much the footage affected them, and they realized how fortunate they are to be reunited with their kids."
Meanwhile, Alabama State Troopers plan to meet with federal investigators to figure out what went wrong early Tuesday morning. Captain John Malone said us he's amazed it wasn't any worse.
"For that drop, that weight, I would have thought there would have been more serious injuries, I've heard that the driver may have been unresponsive just prior to the bus going out of control," said Captain John Malone.
Sheriff Mack told FOX10 News, some of the students were wearing seat belts.
Pastor Chad Stafford said United Airlines donated flights for the families to pick up their loved ones and take them back to Texas. Some have flown and some have driven.
According to Major Anthony Lowery with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, the bus crash victims and their families need gift cards or gas cards to help them get back home to Texas. Lowery said the cards can be dropped off at Coastal Church of Daphne.
According to officials, eleven uninjured passengers were transported to Coastal Church on County Road 64 in Daphne to be reunited with family members after a charter passenger bus carrying high band school students from the Houston, Texas area crashed Tuesday morning on Interstate 10 at mile marker 57 near the Alabama/Florida line.
One person died in the bus crash. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency tells FOX10 News the fatality was the bus driver.
Sources say the bus was carrying students back home to Channelview, Texas. They are members of the Channelview High School Falcon Band and were traveling back from a school trip to Disney World in Florida, we're told.
The American Red Cross is on the scene at the church along with members of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Department. A member of the American Red Cross said they will provide students with food, water, blankets and anything else they can in order to make the students comfortable at this time.
Four have now been released to their parents, six remain at the church.
A member of the team said, "this is a place where these students can rest and be reunited with family members."
The Baldwin County call center is being brought online to field calls regarding the passengers and their locations, according to the Sheriff's Office. The call center number is 251-972-6807.