Texas – Ashley Brown, 16, and Alicia Bonura, 18, both of Beaumont, Texas, died March 29, 2006. They were on a bus carrying their West Brook High School soccer team when it overturned near Devers, Texas, on its way to a playoff game in Humble.
Steve Forman’s daughter Allison was among 21 other team members who were injured. “Once she regained enough consciousness, to have to tell her that her two friends were dead, I think that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Forman said.
Allison, who was 17 at the time, was ejected through the window, and she underwent four operations to reconstruct her arm, which was pinned beneath the bus for an hour.
Steve Forman and Brad Brown, Ashley’s father, are convinced that things would have been very different if only the bus had been equipped with seat belts.
On Sept. 1, more than four years after the West Brook bus crash, a Texas law went into effect requiring some school buses to have seat belts. But “Ashley’s and Alicia’s Law” — the result of lobbying by Brown, Forman and other Texas parents — is now in limbo because of a Texas Education Agency contention that it isn’t really mandatory because the Legislature cut the money to pay for it by two-thirds.