by KHALANI GARAY
Nearly two of the three dozen elementary school students were injured on Monday, November 21, 2016, in a heart wrenching bus crash. In total, there was thirty-five students of Woodmore Elementary School, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee on that bus.
The crash happened around 3:30 PM, a mile from the elementary school. That same night, the bus driver, Jonathan Walker, 24, was arrested on five counts of vehicular homicide, as well as reckless endangerment and reckless driving. Officials are investigating whether or not alcohol played a part in the crash. They know for a fact that speeding did play a huge part.
As for the students hurt, four girls and a boy have died. Twelve are still hospitalized and six are in the intensive care unit. Three of the students who died were in fourth grade. As for the others who were not killed, they were in either kindergarten or first grade.
“They will always be with us throughout our lives,” Dr. Kelly, the interim school superintendent in Hamilton County, said. “This is something that we will never forget here as a community.”
The bus was removed from the scene on Tuesday and crews worked endlessly restoring the utility pole Walker had hit. Soon after, a small memorial site popped up with stuffed teddy bears and flowers. Mr. Walker received his commercial driver’s license in April and soon after, in September, he was in a minor bus crash. His employer, Durham School Services, which holds a contract to thousands of Hamilton County students each day, said in a statement that they were “devastated by the accident”. The company transports nearly a million schoolchildren each day, but it was found that the drivers had been involved in 346 accidents in two years.
This devastating crash comes nearly sixteen months after a gunman opened fire at two military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing five servicemen. One can only imagine the immense pain the city is going through right now.