Funerals held for two students who died in school bus accident

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Mourners gathered for the funerals Saturday of two students killed in last week's HISD school bus crash in southeast Houston.

The service for Mariya Johnson was held at Church of Bethel in southwest Houston. There was much song for a teenager who loved to sing and bittersweet memories from one of her former teachers.

"She just got excited about graduating. She got excited about getting out on time with her class," said teacher Shandra Comeaux-Pollard. "She would come and complain about algebra this and algebra that or whatever class she was having trouble with, but I just saw in her a new drive to move forward."

Johnson was an intern at a Houston medical training school, one of the teachers spoke at the service today.

"She talked about her love and passion for life and healthcare and what she aspired to do. I'm talking to you family -- who you raised. You did an amazing job with a beautiful young lady," said the teacher.

Johnson would have celebrated her eighteenth birthday in less than a month.

The other student who died in that crash was also laid to rest Saturday. The funeral for Janecia Chatman was held at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in southeast Houston, at her family's request, the funeral service today was private.

The 14-year-old was a freshman at Furr High School. Her family says she was excited about starting school and studying Russian.

Chatman was also very close to the two students who survived the crash and referred to them as her cousins.

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