QUINLAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Johnny Solis and his friend Kolby Wall were back on the baseball field Friday night and they were thankful to be there.
“Everybody started screaming and then one teacher fell and then everybody started falling over her.”
That’s how Wall, age 12, described yesterday’s escalator malfunction at the DART Mockingbird Station. Walls and Solis were both on the escalator at the time. Twenty people were injured, most of them school children, when it suddenly sped up and then stopped; sending students and teachers tumbling down the metal stairs.
“Me and Kolby were at the front, so we jumped off at the very end. Everybody else just started falling,” described the 13-year-old Solis
Eight children and two adults went to the hospital with minor injuries. One little girl suffered a broken leg. Eighty-four students from Thompson Middle School in Quinlan were on a school-sponsored field trip when the accident took place. But Kolby and Johnny’s parents say no one from the Quinlan school district called them. So the first words out of their son’s mouths when they got home were, “we almost died today,” said Solis’ mother.
The two boys’ mothers were shocked. Shock then turned to anger.
“I just feel like there should have been more communication between the school and the parents,” said Julie Solis. “I don’t feel like I should have found out from my13-year-old son that he basically tumbled down an escalator.”
Superintendent Michael French defended the Quinlan School District. French said school officials made every effort to contact every single parent, but because there were so many parents to call, not everyone was notified.
The mothers of the two boys say there has to be a better way to communicate, because next time, it could be far worse.