"I saw the truck coming...then I heard people screaming"

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - She said all she could do was sit there and watch as an 80,000 pound big rig headed right for her school bus. 10-year-old Rachel Barbey is still recuperating after her Jacksonville school bus was hit Monday morning. The accident sent 15 fifth and sixth graders to the hospital. Rachel had to be flown to Children's in Dallas. Now, in her own words, Rachel gave her eye witness account.

"It like, tipped over to the side, then it landed back, flat," she explained. "We rolled basically every where."

Rachel said she was sitting two seats behind the emergency window, directly above where the truck hit.

"I saw the truck coming," she said. "Then, I heard people screaming, 'No, stop.' Then, I said, 'This is really going to happen.'

"I thought she was at school," said Rachel's mother, Tammy. "I thought maybe she had accidentally fallen down the stairs. [It] never even crossed my mind about a school bus."

Tammy said she missed the first call from the hospital. She said a second one came in saying her daughter had been in an accident.

"It could have been infinitely worse," said Tammy.

Rachel was one of 11 bus riders taken to Mother Frances Hospital in Jacksonville. She complained of stomach pains and swelling...

"It's really hard for me to think about what could have happened," said Rachel's mother.

We met Rachel inside her parents convenience store after she spent a day in ICU. She was at Children's three days. Surfing on the Disney Channel's web site is one way she passes the time to keep her from further injuring her ruptured spleen.

"I'm kind of like, on quarantine, basically," Rachel said.

Flowers from family friends help, too.

"I'm kind of hurting a little in my stomach," she said. "[I'm] just a little shaky still."

"I'd wrap her in bubble wrap if I could find enough," said Tammy. "God's really good to us. We've had a lot of people praying for Rachel, and I really think that made a difference."

They are grateful Rachel and her schoolmates are all okay.

"I think we all realize just how lucky we are," said Tammy.

Rachel's parents are talking with Jacksonville school officials to see when she can go back to school. Police say at this time, the driver has still only been ticketed for the accident.

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