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      Archive Photos: Alton Bus Wreck

      A park in the Lower Rio Grande Valley serves as a reminder of when a school bus went into a water-filled pit in a wreck that left 21 children dead.

      Monday was the 20th anniversary of the devastating school bus accident in Alton. It was Sept. 21, 1989, when a school bus carrying 81 children and a soft drink truck collided.

      The bus plummeted into a caliche pit.

      Emergency personnel used rescue boats to help reach the dozens of survivors.

      Alton received a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to help construct a memorial park. The complex was built in 2004.

      Alton is a town of about 8,700, located 70 miles northwest of Brownsville.

      Mission CISD sent us the wording used in a plaque that hangs inside Alton Memorial Junior High School reads:

      This campus is dedicated to the memory of the young lives that were lost as a result of a bus accident on the morning of September 21, 1989 as they were on their way to school. In selecting the name of Alton Memorial Junior High School, it was the intention of the Mission CISD Board of Trustees and the community to remember the following children and to celebrate their lives and the positive impact they had on their families, friends, schools and community. Dedicated on this 21st day of September 2003

      Maria AlfaroBorn January 13, 1975

      Roberto Bazaldua, Jr.Born April 26, 1976

      Margarita BuentelloBorn April 19, 1977

      Carmen CanalesBorn March 13, 1972

      Elda P. CruzBorn August 4, 1977

      Raul FloresBorn July 8, 1971

      Elizabeth FloresBorn May 5, 1974

      Abdon GarciaBorn February 23, 1975

      Armando GonzalezBorn January 21, 1975

      Ruby LopezBorn October 12, 1976

      Marta Amelia LozanoBorn August 15, 1974

      Jose L. OrtegaBorn September 14, 1974

      Veronica PerezBorn March 28, 1976

      Yesenia PerezBorn October 12, 1973

      Roman QuinteroBorn March 11, 1975

      Apolonia RegaladoBorn March 10, 1976

      Maria RegaladoBorn September 28, 1974

      Anna RodriguezBorn June 15, 1973

      David SaenzBorn December 14, 1976

      Michael P. SaenzBorn November 18, 1974

      Alberto VasquezBorn January 10, 1977