Devastating Bus Crash Kills 2 Recent High School Graduates Holidaying in Peru

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
May 27, 2019Worldshare
Devastating Bus Crash Kills 2 Recent High School Graduates Holidaying in Peru
Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. (Laslovarga [CC BY-SA 4.0 (])

Two recent graduates from Bradenton, Florida, were killed in a bus crash while traveling in Peru on May 24, according to multiple reports.

Albert Ales and Zachary Morris, two 18-year-olds, were taking a vacation in the city of Cusco in Peru to celebrate their recent high school graduation when their motorcycle was hit by a bus merely hours after they set foot in the country, Fox News reported.

They had just graduated from Southeast High School on May 18, and were really excited about their international trip. According to Peruvian newspaper La Republica, the bus hit them and they were thrown off the motorcycle they were riding on. Following the accident, the bus driver was detained by the local police.

Southeast High School was made aware of the accident and took to social media to post their condolences.

“Our Southeast Community is heartbroken after hearing the unimaginable news that recent International Baccalaureate (IB) graduates Albert Ales and Zachary Morris passed away yesterday in a tragic accident while exploring Peru,” the school wrote in a Twitter post on May 25. “Our thoughts and prayers are centered around their family and friends.”

According to Ales and Morris’s engineering teacher, Richard Platt, the two made a big impact on the school as a whole, according to Fox 13.

“They were bigger than life,” Platt told the news outlet. “They were those kind of kids that made everyone feel better when they were around.”

Anthony Sevarino and John Ferguson were close friends with the two graduates, and for them, the loss of their close friends was devastating. Both of them said that it wasn’t easy when they learnt that Ales and Morris had passed away so suddenly.

“You see stuff like this in the news, so it’s hard when this happens to you, it’s not easy,” Sevarino said. Ferguson also echoed Sevarino’s sentiments and said that their group was very close. According to Ferguson, Ales and Morris were not only important to the group that they were part of but were also a very important part of their own lives.

“They were like brothers to me. We had a whole group of friends, and they were like so important to the group, and not only to the group but us especially,” Ferguson said.

Despite the devastating news, both friends remember Ales and Morris very fondly, telling Fox 13 that the two were very bright and made a huge impact on everyone.

“Albert was the guy that if you had a problem, he was going to fix it,” Sevarino told the news outlet. “And Zach was just the smartest guy you’ve ever seen, so confident in his speaking. Both of them are really the reason I am molded into the person I am today.”

Ales and Morris were both a part of the school’s student engineering and entrepreneurship program, and while there, together, they were able to build a machine that put together wooden toys to give to the 101st Airborne Division to gift children that they come across during their deployment. The machine was capable of making 1,000 wooden toys every month.

Platt praised the two students’ achievements and said that the work Ales and Morris did motivate him to change how he taught his classes.

“When you have two students that made such an impact on our community and such an impact on our school, and they completely change the direction of where I teach engineering now and where I’m going with it until I retire,” Platt told Fox 13. “It’s completely devastating.”

On May 25, the school posted on their Facebook to express their condolences, saying that the school would keep the two graduates close in their hearts.

“We are saddened to say that our Seminole Family lost 2 bright, young men yesterday. Recent IB graduates Zachary Morris and Albert Ales passed away yesterday in a tragic accident while exploring Peru. We hold their family and friends in our thoughts and prayers during this incredibly tough time,” the Facebook post read. “Class of 2019 and the Seminole family will forever keep you in our hearts.”

In addition, in order to honor the two graduates, the school was asked to either wear orange or a Hawaiian shirt on May 28 as per a request from a friend of Ales and Morris.

“Even if you didn’t have the pleasure of knowing them or getting close to them, it would mean a lot to their friends in the graduated class and those still students at SEHS to show the love and support,” the Twitter post read. “In the meantime, please just try and think of all the good and memories of those two boys living their lives to the fullest.”

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