#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Friday 28 January 2022

Six primary school students killed in Tennessee bus crash

The driver of the bus has been arrested.

In this photo provided by the Chattanooga Fire Department via Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga Fire Department personnel work the scene.
In this photo provided by the Chattanooga Fire Department via Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga Fire Department personnel work the scene.
Image: Bruce Garner/Chattanooga Fire Department via Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP

SIX STUDENTS HAVE been confirmed dead after a bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Chattanooga police Chief Fred Fletcher said the crash was “every public safety professional’s worst nightmare.”

The bus was carrying 35 children from Woodmore Elementary, students in kindergarten through fifth grade (aged between five and 10), when it crashed about 3.30pm local time (9.30pm in Dublin), turned on its side and wrapped around a tree.

Fletcher told reporters later that investigators were looking at speed “very, very strongly” as a factor. The bus was the only vehicle involved but the crash scene covers a significant area, he said.

Fletcher said later at news conference near where the crash occurred that the 24-year-old school bus driver, Johnthony Walker had been arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

“There may be more charges added as this proceeds to the grand jury here in Hamilton County,” Fletcher said.


APTOPIX Chattanooga Bus Crash A woman escorts three children away from the scene. Source: Angela Lewis Foster/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP

23 students were taken to hospitals, Fletcher said, but he did not have information about the extent of their injuries. Media reported it took about two hours to get the last children off the bus.

Television stations reported that people lined up to donate blood and some donors were asked to make appointments for today.

Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent for Hamilton County schools, said classes would be held today, with counselors available for students and staff.

Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston told media outlets that five people died at the scene and one died at the hospital. Melydia Clewell, the district attorney’s spokeswoman, confirmed the number.

Chattanooga police Assistant Chief Tracy Arnold said officials would not identify the students who died, or their ages, until parents were notified.

“Our hearts go out, as well as the hearts of all these people behind me, to the families, the neighborhood, the school, for all the people involved in this, we assure you we are doing everything we can,” Fletcher said.

At the state Capitol in Nashville, Governor Bill Haslam called the crash “a tragic event” and offered assistance.

“We’re going to do everything we can to assist in any way,” Haslam said. “It’s a sad situation anytime there’s a school bus with children involved, which there is in this case.”

Read: Trump vows start of TPP withdrawal ‘on day one’, backs Farage for UK ambassador

Read: A ferry stranded at sea overnight will attempt to dock at 12 noon today

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel