Thousands of Lubbock and Abilene Christian University students gathered Monday morning to mourn the loss of an ACU student and pray for the 15 others involved in a deadly bus crash Friday afternoon.
At LCU they prayed four times for those involved in the tragic accident. Some cried while others comforted each other.
The crash killed Anabel Reid, 19, a Lubbock High School graduate from Petersburg. Several ACU students were headed on a weekend mission trip to Medina Children's Home southwest of Kerrville. The driver of the bus lost control near Ballinger and struck a concrete culvert rolling one time. Several students were ejected.
As of Monday morning nine students and faculty remain hospitalized, six were released.
Hundreds of friends and family offered words of encouragement on this website created by ACU. Reid's family says "I would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support and prayers during this time of grief in our lives".
Rod Blackwood knew Reid most of her life through the Broadway Church of Christ. There she was involved in youth groups. He says she will be missed.
“I can't even imagine the despair and the loss that is felt when you lose a child like that,” said Blackwood.
At Estacado High School, the principal Dr. Sam Ayers looked through old yearbooks remembering Reid who he’s known since Kindergarten. He heard Reid died from her mother who also works at Estacado. Ayers says her death was disappointing, something he wasn't prepared for. He says Reid’s parents and brother are hurt and gathered to pray at ACU for those involved in the accident.
"The timing and circumstances are what catch you by surprise and what causes the shock and the grieving process. They are happy for her for where she is but we're missing her," Ayers said.
He recalls Ayers was on the swim team at O.L Slaton Middle School and Lubbock High School. He says he loved mission work and was heavily involved in ACU agricultural department. The last time he spoke to Reid is through email to give her advice about writing a children's book, a dream of hers.
"She knew that I wrote books and she had a desire to write children's books. So we conversed about what is the best way to do that," Ayers said.
A celebration of Reid's life will be held 5:30 Wednesday evening at the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock.
There is a memorial scholarship in Anabel Reid's name. Donations can be sent to Roscoe Wilson Elementary at 2807 25th Street, Lubbock, TX, 79401 or you can call 766-0922.