Reliving A Dark Day

. -

ALTON - The lives tied to a bus crash 26 years ago are forever changed. Twenty-one students died in Alton after a soft drink truck hit their bus. The bus then landed into a water filled caliche pit.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS was one of the first crews on scene and worked alongside fire crews and police to capture the events of the day. Video CHANNEL 5 NEWS was able to capture became police evidence.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS assignments editor, Raul Castelan, was a photographer on the scene that day.

"At that time, DPS or the fire department or police kinda used us so they could use our video and analyze what happened. I guess that's the reason they allowed us to get so close. So I got right to the edge so I could see the bus upside down on the water," Castelan said.

The truck ran a stop sign and struck the bus back in September 21st, 1989. Today 21 memorials stand at the crash site at Bryan road and 5 Mile road in Alton.

Castelan explained, "There was a lady there and she lost two. They told her that a brother went back into the bus. He got out but his little brother was still in there so he went back and he died too. Still now I see the pictures of these parents suffering so much. It bothers me that the parents suffered so much. That's what I recall."