This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
A fundraising campaign to support the victims of a field trip bus crash involving students at C.W. Henry School took less than 24 hours to reach its goal of $15,000 this week.
Nicole Paulino, music teacher at Henry, started the GoFundme page on Wednesday to cover graduation expenses to help parents who may be financially burdened as a result of the accident. The page went live around 5 p.m. had reached its goal by Thursday afternoon.
“That’s awesome,” said Jeneen Crawford, whose son Ian was in the accident. “The outpour of community support is just awesome.”
On Monday, May 15, 26 eighth-grade students, two teachers, and a parent chaperone from C.W. Henry School were on a chartered bus en route to Washington, D.C. for a field trip.
A speeding car lost control and clipped the bus, causing the bus to swerve off of the highway, hit the embankment and a tree, before landing on its side.
“It flipped once, but to everyone on the bus it felt like was flipping forever,” Ian said on Thursday.
Ian initially suffered some cuts from the accident — two on his knee, one on his head, and one on his face. The next day he began having back pain, making it difficult for him to stand and walk up stairs, his mother said.
She was told by doctors that the pain is likely a pulled muscle and ought to subside in a few days.
Three of Ian’s classmates and special education teacher Brittany Jacobs remain hospitalized.
An investigation into the accident by Maryland police is ongoing. No charges have been filed.Ian said that Paulino was the best teacher he’s had since kindergarten, and he was not surprised that she started the GoFundMe page.
“All of my classmates will be grateful for the money that people have donated,” he said.