Student injured in Albuquerque school bus crash needs surgery

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The family of one of the seven students hospitalized following a rollover bus crash in southwest Albuquerque is sharing their story.

“It could have been worse. Thank the Lord for that," said Alfred Lucero.

Lucero and his wife Teresa Lucero are thankful their granddaughter, 13-year-old Lyla Maldonado, wasn’t killed in the school bus crash. They’re angry at the driver accused of causing it by street racing at more than 110 mph.

“She said that she saw the car coming towards the bus at a high rate of speed and when the car hit the bus the impact I guess it knocked her off the seat, she lost her glasses, her shoes and laptop and her backpack,” said Teresa.

Maldonado was one of two students hurt in the crash who needed surgery. She’s in the hospital with a pelvic fracture and faces a long recovery, not just physically.

"These kids are going to go through this trauma for a while because every time they get on the bus they’re going to remember what happened. It’s something that stays with them for a while," said Alfred.

The Lucero’s hope this serves as a wake-up call to anyone out there who continues to endanger our community by street racing.

"First of all there are places to race,” said Alfred. “If you want to go race, go race on weekends. Go run your car as far as you want to the mountains but don’t run it into children and buses and run over kids. Go race where it’s supposed to be done legally. Please stop and think of the innocent."

They have a message for the driver accused of seriously hurting their granddaughter and her classmates.

"I think he’s fortunate that he didn’t kill anybody,” said Alfred. “I think he’s fortunate that he didn’t kill himself. But I pray that he stops and thinks about the damage that he did to innocent children. The bottom line. Innocent children and the bus driver. The person doing his daily job is also affected with that. Stop and think please. Stop and think."

Mario Perez is facing charges and will be arrested once he’s released from the hospital where he’s recovering from a broken leg.