Family member of bus crash victims speaks out

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WLNE) — We’re learning more about what happened on the bus that crashed on Route 24 over the weekend. Several of the people hurt are still in the hospital tonight and a family member is speaking out about what they experienced.

Everyone on that bus is a part of the same family or a close friend. A cousin who wasn’t on board says their support system is shattered after a holiday tradition changed in a split second.

Days after a school bus crashed on Route 24, the people hurt are beginning to heal.

“This is a catastrophe that is affecting many lives,” says Rich Quintal, a cousin of the family on board.

From the La Salette parking lot, Quintal asks for help. It’s where his cousins and extended family were enjoying an annual holiday get together before piling on to that bus.

“I’ve heard many crying for hours in pain, I’ve reassured my cousin many times that her children are okay as her brain was injured and her short term memory was not functioning properly,” says Quintal.

Massachusetts State Police say 23 people were on the bus. Quintal says 31 people were on board, 12 of them children. Many of them were seriously hurt all of them experienced severe mental trauma.

“It wasn’t a pretty sight when I got into the emergency room. Imagine looking inside of a bag of popcorn and turning those into people,” says Quintal.

On Monday, Christy Gilpatrick was charged with driving drunk and causing the accident.

“She broke lives and I hope she gets what she deserves and I feel bad for her, I do,” says Quintal.

There’s a long road ahead for those that were hurt. A Go Fund Me page set up for them has already raised thousands of dollars.

“What has happened has forced us to ask for help. There are 10 families, 10 households, nearly 20 people who will not be able to provide for themselves or their loved ones,” says Quintal.

Massachusetts State Police originally said they were on a First Student company event but Quintal says it was actually just an annual family get together. He couldn’t say if anyone works for first student and their lawyer didn’t return our calls.

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© WLNE/ABC 6 2018