Survivor of '83 school bus crash relives horror of wreck

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The fatal HISD bus crash has brought back a tragic day for a local woman.

Noreen Kahn-Mayberry was just 9 years old and on board another HISD school bus that crashed in 1983. She and a handful of other students were on their way to school at T.H. Rogers. It was early in the morning and the ride from Houston's south side to the Galleria-area was long. As the bus sat at a stop light on Almeda near Hiram Clark, an 18-wheeler backed into it, killing a seventh grade girl and injuring others.

Kahn-Mayberry was not seriously hurt but emotionally scarred for years.

"For years when my mother would drive next to an 18-wheeler, I would put my head in my lap and shake. I was so nervous and afraid," she described as she stood at the crash scene for the first time in more than 3 decades.

"It feels almost surreal to be back here more than 30 years later when something so eerily similar just happened," Kahn-Mayberry, a successful toxicologist, said.

The memory of her crash flooded back when she saw the terrible images of the Tuesday morning HISD bus crash and heard about the two teen girls who were killed and the twins who were seriously hurt as they were headed to Furr High School.

"I said I just don't believe this is happening again. I just don't believe this is happening again," Kahn-Mayberry said.

She put her feelings into words and onto social media in an effort to reach the survivors and the victims' families and help others understand, with time, she says, hopelessness can turn to hope.

"My main message is I want people to know you can heal and you can recover from this but it's a slow process and there are emotional scars that take years to heal," she said.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.