One of the terrible tragedies mentioned in the Proclamation struck on December 26, 1972.
Students, parents and chaperones traveling on one of two school busses to a religious retreat between Christmas and New Year’s were involved in a terrible accident on a remote New Mexico bridge. Newspapers nation-wide reported on the tragic accident and an incredible outpouring of sympathy and support focused on our community.
Several thousand mourners attended a city-wide memorial service at the Municipal Auditorium (now the Long Center for the Performing Arts) on Saturday, December 30th. Attendees included Former President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Austin’s Former Mayor and Mrs. Roy Butler, family members, friends, and classmates of the deceased.
A memorial stone with the names of the thirteen Crockett students who died is located in the Courtyard of the school.
Woodlawn Baptist Church also has a memorial stone dedicated to all nineteen deceased. Those injured in the devastating wreck, travelers who were on the other bus, friends and family member gather together regularly to remember the event and their loved ones.
Healing comes for each individual differently. We still continue to ask “Why?” The bridge and road have been closed now. School bus construction has been improved to withstand forceful impact. Counseling for large groups of students is now readily available when schools are impacted by such a catastrophe.
Those small steps are significant every time we vow to remember: