Two killed, over three dozen injured in charter bus rollover

Injured Bus Passenger: "It Was a Scene Out of a Movie"

Former teacher says she is grateful she and her friends survived bus crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5
    Anita Strange, 70, was on board the bus with her two best friends, Marifranc Mathis and Dotty Miles. All three survived, sustaining minor injuries.

    A Fort Worth woman injured in fatal charter bus crash on Thursday morning says she and her two best friends are lucky to have only sustained minor injuries.

    The bus rolled over on the President George Bush Turnpike while heading to an Oklahoma casino, killing two and injuring 44.

    Anita Strange, 70, was on board the bus with her two best friends, Marifranc Mathis and Dotty Miles. All three survived, sustaining minor injuries.

    "I just have some cuts -- small cuts on my hands, in my head -- and I have a cauliflower ear; I've been boxing," Strange said. "And I jarred my upper neck and lower spine and my wrist, so I'm really lucky. I just think it was the seat that I was in and where I was located on the bus that made all the difference in the world."

    Strange, who was treated at Baylor Medical Center at Irving, was released from the hospital Thursday night. Her friends also were released from their respective hospitals on Thursday night.

    She said she thinks she may have been the first passenger helped out of the bus by two Good Samaritans.

    "It's just too surreal. It's just too like the movies, it's too ghoulish -- it was," she said. "You stop and think, there was probably 125 people there helping us, plus the 40 of us on the bus and all the people that were stopped. And all those people that came to your rescue. It was a scene out of a movie."

    Strange, who taught at St. Rita's Catholic School in Fort Worth for 40 years, said it wasn't the first time she and her friends had traveled on the casino bus. They joined Sue Taylor, known as "Casino Sue," for the first time two months ago and were looking forward to another day of gambling when the bus crashed in Irving.

    "I just remember I was playing games on my telephone, of course, and, all of a sudden, there was this jolt," Strange said. "And I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, what have we hit?' And then it just turned over and over, it seemed. And then, of course, it slid over to the right, and then it stopped, and it was just dead silence."

    Strange lost her cellphone in the wreck and used Mathis' cellphone to reach her children, who met her at the hospital. She said that's where she first cried.

    On Friday, she said she was grateful that she and her friends had survived but was sad for those families that were not as lucky.

    "Praise God for the blessings that we're still alive -- Marifranc, Dotty and I and all the people who survived," Strange said. "And certainly I feel for those families that lost their loved ones."