Bus crash victims recount wreck that killed one student, injured dozens

4th grader Aaron Beauchamp dead in accident

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - It has been two days since a bus accident west of Fort Pierce killed one student from Frances K. Sweet Magnet School and injured many others.

Flowers and messages covered a statue outside the school as many students returned Tuesday for the first time since the bus accident took place the day before.

"We heard a crash and the windows started breaking and we went up in the air," said Ejaia Pagan, a fourth grader who survived the accident.

Speaking with the permission of their parents, Ejaia and Noah Pagan described what they experienced when the bus they were on collided with a tractor trailer.

"We got hit, the bus started to spin and I saw the window crack," said Noah Pagan, a first grader who survived the crash.

The brother and sister were on bus 2412 together and saw something most their age could never fathom.

"Mr. Hazen, our bus driver, was just like jumping up and down screaming, 'No,' and he was crying," said Ejaia Pagan.

Noah Pagan suffered a concussion and does not remember too much after bumping heads with the student he was sharing a seat with on the bus.

Ejaia Pagan hurt her leg and remembers it all. She said she saw classmates injured and bleeding, children crying and eventually realized she lost one of her friends, fellow fourth grader, Aaron Beauchamp.

"Worst nightmare to not know. Even for just ten minutes to not know if one of those children were yours," said Marlene Pagan, Ejaia and Noah's mother.

Marlene Pagan is thankful her children did not spend much time at the hospital. Pagan said she trusted the bus driver, Al Hazen, and does not understand what led to the crash. In the last month, Pagan said her daughter told her there were extra kids seated on the bus and more stops.

"Somebody's bound to not have a seat belt. Somebody's bound to be that third person in the row of seats which is not supposed to be. But is that his fault? No. Something should have been done," said Pagan.

Pagan's daughter though can only think of her friend Aaron Beauchamp and wonders what school will be like without him.

Pagan said she is a little hesitant to allow her children back on the bus. She said she is going to try and give her children a ride, but with work, the children will eventually have to get back on the bus.

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