Father remembers son 1 day after fatal accident involving Alvin ISD bus
MANVEL, Texas – "Energetic and humorous. He was just a very happy kid."
Joey Elijah Salazar went to school at EC Mason Elementary.
It was the place of the last moment Joseph Edward Salazar had with his 5-year-old son.
He said he will never forget his "sweet little boy" and he hopes there is a lesson to be learned for other parents: "Cherish every moment they have with their family because you never know."
Joey was in the car with his grandmother -- 60-year-old Karen Salazar and his grandfather -- when authorities said an Alvin Independent School District bus crashed into their car here near Highway 6 and County Road 99.
All three were rushed to the hospital. Karen and Joey didn't survive. Joseph lost his son and his mother in the same day.
The school district said the department of public safety is investigating if the bus driver was distracted or speeding. District officials say the driver has been cooperative and agreed to take a drug test. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is handling the investigation.
District and school staff met before Tuesday classes to talk about the incident. EC Mason Elementary’s principal sent out emails to the staff and parents informing them of the situation. Alvin ISD also had crisis counselors at Mason Elementary to support students and staff. The crisis team was available to any student at the district who felt they needed support.
"It really leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions that need to be addressed. So I take it as a lesson to really pay attention to driving," Joseph said.
Meanwhile, Joseph said he was a single dad wanting to give his son the best life possible. He said he struggled growing up, but changed his life around once his son was born. They go to church and read the bible every week.
“[Joey] definitely changed my life,” said Joseph. “He was a gift ... I got responsible.”
The grandparents doted on the child. They raised Joey too, babysitting when Joseph would work.
"I'm grateful for every day that I had with him. That God trusted me to be his father," Joseph said.
His grandfather is expected to be OK. Joseph said he hopes to give his mother and son a proper burial. Joseph said he is struggling to pay for funeral arrangements. He is a students and works. He said it is responsibility to make sure his family is properly buried.
“It is my responsibility as a father to make sure this is taken care of,” said Joseph.
He set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for funeral expenses.
Copyright 2017 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.