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News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Orland bus crash: Family and friends mourn Jennifer Bonilla

by Annie Gilbertson | Take Two®

Jennifer Bonilla spent her whole life in Los Angeles. Friends say she was eager to head up north for college. Courtesy Bonilla Family

Rosa Bonilla and her husband were driving to Las Vegas Thursday to renew their wedding vows. Then she got word that her sister, Jennifer Bonilla, may have been in that fiery bus crash in Northern California that claimed 10 lives. The happy trip turned somber as the couple returned to Los Angeles.

The lack of information and confusion about the survivors prompted Bonilla, her mother and other members of the family to drive seven hours to Orland, CA on little sleep early Friday morning.

An hour later, they turned back. The math sadly confirmed everything they needed to know.

"The sheriff notified us that 10 people were dead, five were kids, five were adults," Bonilla said. "And there was only five kids missing, and Jenny was in that list."

Related: Orland bus crash: FedEx semi didn't brake before crash

Jennifer was a 17-year-old who attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. She was described as a star student and was participating in a program to encourage kids to be the first in their family to attend college.

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