Statement: Senator Holly Mitchell Saddened by School Bus tragedy

April 15, 2014

"The bus accident in Orland, CA last week which killed ten persons and injured dozens more, including California high school students and staff en route to Humboldt State University, is a tragedy that has left many of us stunned with grief.

“The journey on which they embarked was meant to be one of happiness and hope for students whose academic accomplishments had earned them college admission. Inexplicably, it became a calamity, robbing life from some and scarring the bodies and memories of others. A member of my local community, Dorsey High School senior Jennifer Bonilla, was among those who perished.

“I offer my deep condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones and my prayers for the full and speedy recovery of the injured.

“I am grateful that so many have tried so hard to help and heal in this painful time, from the first responders on the scene to the medical teams who treated and continue to care for the injured, as well as the officials and school staff who sought to bring what clarity and comfort they could in the midst of chaos. My heart goes out above all to the families left, for what must have seemed an agonizing eternity, with fears in the absence of facts – for some of whom, alas, the sense of loss has only just begun.

“As state and local authorities work together to discover the causes of the accident and to take steps to prevent similar tragedies in the future, there are a few matters of moment to bear in mind. Those who have thoughts or suggestions to share are urged to contact my office, which is working with LAUSD to help in the recovery.

“In the spirit of Ismael Jimenez, one of the student bus passengers who died saving others, let us all strive to help the survivors and the families of those lost to recover and move forward, supporting their aspirations and treasuring the achievements that the Humboldt-bound students had already attained. Their lives and efforts inspire and deserve nothing less.”