Memorial grows for Mesquite middle schooler killed in bus crash

Mourners in Mesquite are finding ways to honor the girl who died in the Mesquite ISD middle school bus crash this week.

A memorial is growing at the crash scene where Terry Middle School student Jazmine Villarreal died. There will be a vigil in honor of the 12-year-old on Saturday.

People continue to flock to the spot just off the narrow two-lane stretch of roadway song Lawson Road where the school bus crashed on Wednesday with 42 students on board and caught fire.

Mary Salva didn’t know Jazmine but felt compelled to stop by

“A lot of people, if they are going too fast, they’ll go around each other, which isn’t safe,” Salva said. “And there’s people just flying down.”

When the community gathered Friday night for Horn High School’s football game, they used the time to honor Jazmine. While she wasn't a high school student, the event touched a lot of the Horn High students.

Eighth-grader Edwin Jimenez and his sixth-grade brother were also on the bus. The school district formally thanked Edwin for helping other students off the bus as it caught fire.

“I feel happy I was able to help the other girls,” Edwin said through a translator. “But at the same time, I feel like I didn't accomplish everything because there was the girl that was still inside.”

For now, the community comes together as it waits for answers and mourns the loss.

Mesquite police investigators say the forensic reconstruction of the crash is near complete. But at this point, they have no new information to share in terms of what caused the driver to lose control.

Mesquite police investigators say they have been contacted by The National Transportation Safety Board, which has offered to provide assistance if needed. But for the time being, the NTSB is not involved.

There is a community vigil planned Saturday at the Family Cathedral of Praise on Windbell Circle in Mesquite starting at 7 p.m. Jazmine’s family has requested everyone wear white.