Local teen talks about surviving bus crash - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Local teen talks about surviving bus crash

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Valhalla High School student who survived a bus crash in Northern California that killed 10 people reflects on the ordeal.

Harley Hoyt returned on a flight to San Diego early Saturday. He is one of two local students on a trip to Humboldt State who survived after a FedEx truck slammed into their bus on Interstate 5.

"It feels great to be home," he said. 

With his dad by his side, Harley Hoyt said a silent prayer as he arrived home to San Diego Saturday morning.

The journey to get here was a long one filled with sleepless nights and flashbacks to Thursday's bus crash, which left 10 people dead.

"One guy, his name was Michael. He was with his fiance and he was just like the life of the party. He was coming around talking to every single person...didn't single out any one person," he said. 

Michael Myvett and his fiance, Mattison Haywood were two of three chaperones who died.

They were looking forward to showing off Humboldt State to the 43 Southern California high school seniors on board -- all of whom had been accepted to attend college there next year.

"Everyone on our bus was having a great time. No thoughts, no worries in the world," Harley said. 

Then, north of Sacramento, a FedEx truck came across the grassy center median along Interstate 5 slamming head on into the bus. 

"Once we impacted, the front of the bus caught flames, there was smoke all through the bus, smoke started coming," he said. "As I looked up to my left, I was like trying to be coherent and I looked to my left after I bit through my lip...the FedEx truck was already on fire...our bus was on fire, so the first instinct was I have to survive. I have to get off this bus."

Harley happened to be sitting in an emergency exit row. He pulled the lever and climbed out the window. Others on board quickly followed. 

"I fell on the ground. Someone came on top of me. It was pretty brutal and then everyone just got out of that bus," he said. 

Harley reunited with his parents the following day. He suffered a cut lip, smoke inhalation and injuries to his arm from the glass and asphalt.

Signs of what could have been says his father Hector.

"There's a mission for this kid right here. He's an angel," he said.

For Harley -- that mission -- is to talk about his experience and encourage the other survivors not to give up on their college dream.

He also intends to live every day to the fullest all while remembering those who no longer have that chance.

"They're in my prayers...all the families, I just hope they find the other side," he said. 

Harley and his dad want to thank everyone who assisted with getting him home safe especially the first responders.

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