Survivor from fatal bus crash with cheerleaders speaks out

BIG SPRING, TX (CNN) — It was an exciting game for the Irran Braves, ending in a playoff win, and leaving the team one step closer to a state championship. No one could predict what would happen shortly after the Friday night victory.

“All I remember is the slamming of the breaks and everyone just went forward really, really fast,” said freshman junior varsity cheerleader Nayleah De Luna.

De Luna is a freshman on the junior varsity cheer team who was removed from the horror of the crash in just a few short hours. She’s still in disbelief about what happened.

“I flew all the way forward and out of the bus,” De Luna explained.  “I thought I was the only one alive. I was just scared. I remember Mrs. Pope’s body was on me.”

A break in her leg, a sprained ankle, a concussion and a few scratches were what De Luna came out of the crash with. Liz Pope however was later pronounced dead at Scenic Mountain Medical Center in Big Spring.

Although De Luna’s injuries will soon heal, her mother is thankful her teenage daughter escaped the deadly crash alive.

“I would have gone crazy if something happened to her,” said mother Esmeralda De Luna. “She is my pride.”

These girls have rallied behind their team and community all season long, but now they need some support of their own.

“Together,” Esmeralda De Luna said. “Iraan will get through this together.”


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