(KRON) — More than a dozen East Bay students and teachers were injured in a bus crash on Friday in France. Many of them are still trying to get home.
Toni Martinez-Borgfeldt was one of the teachers traveling with about 30 students. “It was terrifying. I could tell you as a teacher it was terrifying,” she said.
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The students are currently studying French and were visiting France when they got into the accident on Friday. Martinez-Borgfeldt said they still don’t know why it happened.
“The bus that we were in rear-ended a truck on the freeway. We are not sure what the circumstances are. It’s unclear what the circumstances were but we were going full speed,” said Martinez-Borgfeldt.
One of the teachers said that the bus company did try to contact him, but he was focused on getting his students the medical attention they needed.
“I was sitting in the very back where there was no seat in front of me, so I flew out into the aisle, and I hit my face on seat a few rows down,” said one teacher.
“I had teeth imprints on inside of my lip, and I still have scabbing,” said one student.
The students, from Albany High School, range in age from 13-17. Although the district was not associated with the trip, the students said most of them visited the hospital.
“Even though we’re French students it’s hard to speak French with medical professionals and firefighters when you’re so shaken up after something like that,” said one student.
One of the French teachers was airlifted to the hospital. Martinez-Borgdeldt said that teacher suffered from broken bones and needed surgery.
They don’t know when she’ll be able to get back to the U.S. “It’s going to be a long road ahead for but she is expected to recover fully,” said Martinez-Borgfeldt.
Everyone else has been released from the hospital. The students say many people were injured both with and without a seatbelt.
“Something that I would like to highlight is that they were across-the-lap seatbelts. There was no chest seatbelts. And because a lot of the injuries were head and nose type injuries a chest seatbelt likely would have helped,” said one student.
While many of the students are home, others are still trying to get flights. At least one is stuck in France after testing positive for COVID.