Memorial was named to honor students killed in a bus accident.
8:30 a.m. during a hazy cold morning on Dec. 14, 1961, a school
bus carrying 36 students was hit by a train.
The train was traveling at 79 miles per hour.
The bus was crossing the tracks at a diagonal.
The windows were foggy because of the extreme cold. The driver did
not see the approaching train. He only had a small clearing to use
on his window to see out.
The crossing only had a sign.
There weren't any lights or signals at the crossing
to let the driver know that a train was coming.
bus was split in half.
Part of the bus was dragged 455 feet down the track.
Twenty students were killed and another 16 were injured.
driver was charged with manslaughter.
After a three day trial, the bus driver was found
innocent of any charges.
of the results of the accident was a change in the law.
Busses have always had to stop at railroad crossings. But today bus drivers are required to open the doors and
look and listen before crossing any railroad tracks. The passengers (people on the bus)
have to be silent during that time.
Memorial School was named to remember the students who died that
East Memorial Elementary was built close to the accident
scene and was named as a memorial to those students involved in
the tragic accident.
East Memorial will become part of Bella Romero starting 2014-2015.
East Memorial will become a Kindergarten through third grade buidling combined with Bella Romero which will be a fourth grade through eigth grade building. The new name will be Bella Romero Academy of Applied Technology.