A parent’s worst nightmare happened yesterday just before 3:30 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thirty-five students, from grades kindergarten through fifth, were in a tragic bus accident leaving 6 dead and many others injured. Reports say that speed may have been the major factor leading to the crash, which caused the bus to be flipped on its side and wrapped around a tree.
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said the scene was “complicated” and “covered a large area.” It was the only vehicle involved in the accident and emergency personnel needed almost two hours to get all the children off the bus.
Fox News reports, “...Fletcher said that 24-year-old Johnthony Walker was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide. Walker was also charged with reckless driving and reckless endangerment.”
Reports indicate that of the students involved in the crash, there have now been six confirmed fatalities, six more admitted to hospitals but not critically injured, and 20 others treated and released by local hospitals.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam commented about the accident, “We’re going to do everything we can to assist in any way. It’s a sad situation anytime there’s a school bus with children involved, which there is in this case. We will do everything we can to assist in what I think is going to be a very sad situation.”
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the crash.
Hamilton County school officials confirmed that schools will be open today and extra personnel would be on staff to help children deal with this tragic situation.
Police Chief Fletcher shared on behalf of city and county officials, "Our hearts go out, as well as the hearts of all the people around me, to the family, the neighborhood, the school and all the people involved in this. We assure you we're doing everything we can to help everybody be as safe as they can, get the care they need and get the support they need."
May we all keep these families in our prayers and thoughts during this sad and tragic loss.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 22, 2016