5 children died in a horrible school #bus crash in #tennessee on Monday afternoon. The driver, Johnthany Walker, has been charged with vehicular homicide, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Parents are speaking out about things their children told them about the accident. Walker’s mother is also speaking out, asking for compassion for her son.
Walker tried to pull children off the bus
Walker’s mother, Gwenevere Cook, told CNN that her son tried to help the children by pulling them off the bus, after it hit the tree. He said he attempted it, but there was “so much blood.” His mother also claims that he texted her immediately after the crash. He told her he loved her, that he had been in a wreck and that kids were dead.
Cook claimed her son had never been in trouble and had worked two jobs the past couple of years. She stated that her family feels compassion for the families that lost their children, and asks for compassion for her son as well.
Other mothers tell a different story about Walker
Children have been telling their parents about the bus accident and these Moms are speaking out. Several children said that when Walker lost control of the bus, he asked the kids if they were ready to die. One child stated that bodies “were smushed.” Jasmine Mateen’s six-year-old daughter died in the crash. Mateen told CBS #News that she had complained about Walkers behavior repeatedly, yet Walker’s mother said there had been no complaints about his driving that she knew of.
Walker’s mother said her son did not drink or do any drugs, and he has no criminal record in Tennessee. Several parents acknowledged that they had seen Walker driving the bus faster than they thought he should. The accident took place on a narrow, winding road. Kids on the bus stated that he was going fast and not paying attention, just before he lost control. The bus, carrying the elementary-aged children left the roadway and crashed into a tree, landing on its side.
Community turns out to give blood
As the injured children were transported a call went out for blood donors and the community of Chattanooga rallied. According to marketing coordinator Mindy Quinn, long lines formed as people lined up at the door of Blood Assurance. The community pulled together in this overwhelmingly tragic accident that claimed the lives of 5 children and injured many others.
Walker, who is the father of a three-year-old boy, grew up in Chattanooga and according to his mother, was well liked. He is now being held in the jail on a $107,500 bail and has a court appearance on November 29th. The police chief of Chattanooga stated that more charges could possibly be added after the full investigation.