Families prepare to say goodbye to victims of church bus crash

Families of those killed in the Uvalde County bus crash are preparing to say final farewells as they finalize memorial services.Eyewitness News reporter James Keith is live in New Braunfels where most of the victims lived.

NEW BRAUNFELS - Families of those killed in the Uvalde County bus crash are preparing to say their final farewells as memorial services will be announced soon.

There's still a lot of pain and sadness, but there's also an overwhelming spirit of kindness growing.

The New Braunfels Fire Department has some of the toughest guys in town, but since Wednesday's tragedy, it's compassion that really defines these first responders.

"We are very close knit, everybody knows somebody and there's no question [the deadly bus crash] made a dramatic impact on our city," Battalion Chief Darren Brinkkoeter said.

On Friday, medics from NBFD returned from Utopia, where they lent their services to hurting lifesavers there.

"It was just the right thing to do,” Chief Brinkkoeter said. “They took care of our citizens and we wanted to take care of theirs."

Across town, students at Goodwin Frazier Elementary made cards for the family of one of their beloved substitute teachers, Murray William Barrett, who died while driving the van from First Baptist Church New Braunfels.

"A teacher's reach is endless, and we don't know how far because it's pretty evident he impacted so many kids all over New Braunfels," Principal Carolyn Gump said.

"We immediately knew that it would hit almost everybody in our community," Mayor Barron Casteel said.

Mayor Casteel knew many of the 13 killed. He's proud of how his city has rallied around the victims’ families.

"We live in a town that may be 75,000 people, but we still act like we did when we were 20," Mayor Casteel noted.

From Comal ISD to area churches, counseling service is being offered by several organizations here for those still seeking assistance.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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