SAN ANTONIO – SAISD is now investigating two serious bus crashes that happened this week.
The second one happened Thursday afternoon when a bus took a nose-dive off a downtown highway. Fortunately, the three people on board suffered only non-life threatening injuries.
It all unfolded as the district prepared to say goodbye to a driver who died in an accident Monday morning near Wagner High School, when a SAISD bus collided with a Judson ISD bus.
The collision took the life of 63-year-old Dolores Martinez, the SAISD driver. She was laid to rest Friday morning.
Church bells tolled for the woman who went to work one morning and never came home.
"It just broke my heart,” coworker Teresa Ramirez said. “You just never think of things like that. It can't be true."
The SAISD community remembered Martinez as the bus driver with the infectious laugh heard over the two-way radio.
“It’s just a real tragedy,” coworker Josh Reyes said. “We miss her.”
Coworkers wore yellow-and-black ribbons: school bus colors.
"It's just in honor of Dolores,” Reyes said. “All of the school buses, if you see them on the routes, will have them on the corner mirror."
Investigators are still working to piece together Martinez’s final moments to learn why she lost control of the bus and jumped a median.
"All of a sudden I see the bus coming across the median out of the corner of my eye,” Judson ISD bus driver John Warren said.
He was behind the wheel of the Judson bus.
“Instinct and training kicked in,” Warren said. “I thought I did my job. I was trying to do my job as best as I could. My number one priority was the students on the bus.”
Warren’s been called a hero for keeping the elementary students on his bus safe, but credited the kids for being brave during a very scary situation.
“I didn’t know whether or not I was hurt,” he said. “My concern was the students: 59 of them. And if there are any heroes involved in this incident, it’s the students. They were troopers.”
He tried to avoid the collision, but it all happened so fast, he never even saw Martinez’s face.
"I constantly replay this over and over in my mind,” Warren said.
As they laid Martinez to rest, coworkers couldn’t help but replay another image: the second accident – a school bus that tumbled off an overpass.
"This is a real bad tragedy here,” Ramirez said at the funeral. “And whatever happened yesterday – we can’t have that anymore.”