Richlands High School football coach, Justin Snider, is anxiously waiting at his computer to hear back from his former students who live and work in West, Texas. On Wednesday, parts of the small central Texas town were flatten when a fertilizer plant exploded, killing 14 people.
Snider spent several years as an assistant football coach in West, Texas. When he heard about the fertilizer plant explosion on Thursday, he said he immediately thought about his former students and players.
"They were showing pictures of the triage on the football field , which immediately set me back; because, you think about how many times you stood on the sidelines and watch the community rally around and all of the sudden it's a triage with absolute devastation," said Snider.
Snider says he's been using social media to check in with former students and players to make sure they are safe. On Sunday he found out two of his former players lost their father, who was a first responder.
Snider says many of his former students are rallying together to help their close knit community.
"It is a community of resilience. They are rallied together. Every time you look on Facebook there is some kind of community effort, where they have gathered together. I've seen where kids that I've taught, that are in their early twenties, have rallied together and they're leading community efforts to get food, and clothing, and veterinary services for the pets. Anything and everything; which I'm so proud of to see those kids taking a very adult role in a tragedy like this," said Snider.
Snider says his thoughts and prayers are with his former coach town of West, Texas.