“I just wanted someone to hold me and hug me,” Fifth grader recounts rollover school bus crash in Texas

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

NORMAN Okla. - A rollover bus crash in Texas carrying a group of Norman students has sent shock waves back to Oklahoma.

One mother told News 4 it was one of the scariest moments of her life.

What was supposed to be a fun, five-day research camp at SeaWorld for some fifth grade Cleveland Elementary students, quickly turned into a nightmare.

“I just told everyone I wish this was a dream, I wish this was a dream and I thought it was dream,” said Piper Draper.

Piper was on that bus Saturday and it was more like a nightmare.

“One of the girls from the bus, she was under two girls, so she starts reaching out to me. She said, 'Piper, help' and I tried to and I grabbed her hand with this arm and it hurt really, really badly and I said, 'I can't help, I'm sorry,'" said Piper.

There were 27 people on the bus heading to San Antonio; three were adults.

Law enforcement officials say it was raining and the bus hydroplaned near Lampasas, Texas where it rolled several times.

“The screams continued and said I'm covered in blood but I don't know if I'm bleeding or it's someone else,” said Leslie Draper, Piper’s mom.

Norman Public Schools sent a press release that evening saying there were just minor and non-life threatening injuries.

However, Leslie said it was much more serious than that.

“I just heard screaming and crying and she was screaming and crying,” she said.

Leslie said she was on the phone with her injured daughter for more than two hours while she and her classmates were still on the scene.

“I had her start accessing herself. I said look at your legs and tell me if the blood is moving or not,” she said.

Piper has a broken shoulder, a torn ligament in her leg and several cuts and bruises.

“I just wanted someone to hold me and hug me,” she said.

The district sent an updated statement Sunday night saying:

“Five Cleveland Elementary students and two staff members are recovering in Texas hospitals under medical supervision following Saturday’s bus accident. The remainder of female students who were involved in the incident have been treated and released to their parents or transported home. Male students who were on the second bus have also been transported home.

Additional school counselors will be at the school Monday to provide emotional support for students and staff who may need assistance.

We are incredibly grateful for the emergency responders and medical staff who quickly served our students and teachers. We will also forever appreciate the Lampasas Independent School District and Superintendent for opening their doors to provide respite care for our school family, as well as the Lampasas community members who were quick to provide food, pillows, blankets and stuffed animals to comfort our students. We also want to express our gratitude to Soldier Xpress for immediately offering their transportation services.

We continue to closely monitor those members of our school family who remain in the care of medical professionals and know you will join us in expressing compassion for everyone involved. Thank you again to everyone who has offered support during this difficult time,” said Alesha Leemaster, spokesperson.

Latest News

More News

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington DC Bureau

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ

Latest News

More News


KFOR Podcasts

More Podcasts

Follow @KFOR on Twitter