ORLAND, Calif. – Students who survived a deadly bus crash in California say more people would have been killed had it not been for another victim.
Ismael Jimenez, 18, was a senior at Amino Inglewood Charter High School and was on his way to tour Humboldt State University when everything changed.
The bus he was riding in was hit by a Fed-Ex truck.
Witnesses say Jimenez helped rescue some of the students before losing his own life.
In a statement to KTLA, Marco Pertuzzi, CEO of Green Dot Public Schools, said, “One of the other students on the trip, who attends Amino Jackie Robinson Charter High School, returned home last Friday night and related to our staff how Ismael busted open a window at the front of the bus as it was filling with smoke and people were getting burned. He started lifting kids out in an effort to save them.”
Pertuzzi added, “Ismael will be remembered as someone who forever affected the lives of young people he barely knew. He was indeed a hero.”
He was described as a model student and would have been the first person in his family to go to college.
Five students, including Jimenez, three chaperones and the two drivers were killed in the crash.