Irvin students carry heavy hearts on campus after coach's death
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
The mood around Irvin High School on Monday was one of sadness.
"Right now it's very sad and quiet,” Leslie Navarro said.
“I knew Coach (Archie) Duran when I was at Irvin last year and I just think it's really sad. It just comes out of nowhere,” Carlos Nunez of Andress High School said. “I always hear about incidents like this but it was crazy how it happened with something I knew about."
Some felt others students pain.
"We are trying to get over it and start again because it's a very tragic accident," Enrique Acosta of Jefferson High School said.
"I feel sorry for them because it wasn't meant to be like that,” Jose Sotelo of Jefferson High School said.
“I know a lot of people are hurting right now from different schools especially Irvin,” Cynthia Murigi of El Paso High School said.
A sign at Irvin High School’s front entrance says it all: “Archie Duran will always be our teacher.”
Duran, a track coach, was in a charter bus carrying students from El Paso, Austin, Chapin, Andress, Irvin, Jefferson and Burges high schools when it collided with a pickup truck that was going the wrong way Sunday.
The students were coming home from a track meet when the crash happened.
Duran and the driver of the pickup truck, Gary Lawson, died from their injuries.
The athletes suffered minor injuries. Students said returning to class on Monday wasn’t easy.
Duran’s death still weighs on those he mentored.
"It's very hard because losing someone who's been there for me and always told me, oh, I'm amazing, when I graduate, 'You're gonna be awesome,'" Jayson Weep said. "To lose someone like that is the hardest thing ever."
Others felt this low came after a weekend of highs.
"The timing of all this happens right in time for testing I mean, prom was just this weekend and all these great things coming up and this incident happens, kind of throws everybody off," said Michael Ramirez.
KFOX14 spoke with students from the other schools involved in the crash. They said the entire school district will be supporting Irvin High School throughout this process.
"It's a small community and a lot of schools were involved, but it really teaches us we got to come together in like times like these,” Murigi said.