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Local student involved in deadly Northern California bus crash

By Marc Blaine, KESQ News Channel 3 Anchor & Reporter, mblaine@kesq.com
Published On: Apr 11 2014 11:34:50 PM CDT
California bus-truck crash

CNN

PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Bob Hicks, the principal of Palm Desert High School, admits he was anxious
when he found out one of his students was involved in the fiery bus accident in Northern California Thursday.  Ten people were killed, including five high school students who were on a trip to visit Humboldt State University.

Hicks says the mother of the Palm Desert High senior put him at ease when she
contacted him to let him know her daughter was in the hospital, but is going to be OK.

"It was smoke inhalation, and we're glad it's something she is going to be able to recover from," said Hicks.

Not all students at Palm Desert High had heard about the crash before arriving at school Friday, but they were soon informed by school officials about the incident and the fact a fellow student was on board the bus.

"I heard about it over the intercom and I was in computer class and went on the Internet and just went to News Channel 3 and read more about it, " said Angel Duenas, a senior at the school.

Senior Estela Hijar was happy to learn the Palm Desert High student hurt in the accident will soon be returning home.

"I am just glad that she was safe.  I am sorry about the other students, that's tragic, almost graduating high school," said Hijar.

Hicks says Palm Desert High played no role in the field trip to Humboldt State, but says the school does have a Northern California bus trip scheduled for this summer in which prospective college students will visit several campuses.

Despite the tragic bus accident that took 10 lives, school officials have no plans to cancel the trip.

"I am a mathematician, statistics say flying in a plane and driving in a bus are the safest ways to travel.  There are charters all over the place, look at the thousands of people who travel by charter," said Hicks.