Carrollton bus crash victim finds way to keep tragedy’s memory alive

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by Alex Schuman

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 28 at 6:55 PM

HARDIN COUNTY, Ky. (WHAS11) – Outside a fundraiser for victims of a drunk driving accident you can find Quinton Higgins sitting next to a large white school bus.  Sunday was the first time he ever showed it to the public.

“I was sitting six seats behind the driver,” Higgins, who is a survivor of the 1988 Carrollton bus crash, said. 

“I remember on impact – seeing a glow,” he said.  “I remember getting up in the aisle, and just all those kids panicking and screaming and pushing on each other.”

27 people died in the crash after the gas tank caught fire.   The tragedy led to school bus safety changes nationwide. 

Since the accident, every school bus is required to have an emergency exit in the row where Higgins was sitting. 

Higgins plans on repainting the bus, placing photos of the victims, letting family members who have lost someone in a drunk-driving accident leave their signature. 

“I want it to be a rolling memorial for the consequences of drinking and driving,” he said.

Higgins never wanted to own a bus.

“God put it on my heart six months ago, and I fought it,” he said.

He put off buying anything until someone found almost an exact replica of the bus from 1988.

“It’s identical to me,” he said.

The pastor who owned the bus heard Higgins’ plans, and gave him a 1,000 dollar discount.

“The original cost was $2,500, but he gave it to me for $1,500,” Higgins said.

He considers it a mission to go to schools, churches, and wherever else people will let him speak to show the bus and the damage drunk driving can cause.

“This could still happen,” Higgins said.  “And I just want to keep that memory alive and just share – don’t drink and drive.”

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