PARAMUS — Fundraising efforts for one of the children seriously injured in last week's Interstate 80 bus crash have raised thousands of dollars for a fifth-grader described as a "smart, beautiful vibrant girl."

A GoFundMe page has been started by the brother of Sofia Evelich, who was one of the children on their way to a field trip to Waterloo Village when their bus was involved in a crash that claimed the lives of a student and a teacher. A traffic cam showed the bus rapidly crossing three lanes and trying to make an illegal U-turn when it was struck by a dump truck, officials have told the Townsquare News Network.

"Those of you who know Sofia know how much she loves her family and friends," her brother Ron said on the fundraising site. "One of her favorite things to do is spend time with her cousins. She also loves singing, acting and cheerleading."

Since the crash, Evelich has been in pediatric intensive care with "severe head trauma," and is listed as being in serious condition, her brother said, calling her "resilient and a fighter."

Evelich said his parents have been by his sister's side since the crash, and will continue to be there "as we face the long and challenging road that lies ahead of her."

"We know Sofia is a strong girl and will find the power within to fight her way through this," Evelich said on the page. "Please continue to pray for my sister and our family, and for all the other families impacted by this senseless event."

The GoFundMe was established on Sunday, and as of Monday afternoon had raised more than $19,000 of a $20,000 goal.

The crash resulted in 38 students and seven teachers being taken to area hospitals. Paramus has cancelled all planned field trips for the remainder of the year.

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