This afternoon, a school bus carrying 35 Woodmore Elementary School students—aged
from kindergarten to 5th grade—violently crashed into a tree in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The
force of the impact was enough to split the width of the bus in half.
The bus itself was also turned over on its side, with the tree crushed
against its roof.
Very few details about the crash have been released by the police, as it
occurred only a few hours ago. Police Chief Fred Fletcher and Assistant
Chief Tracy Arnold have confirmed that multiple fatalities occurred but
gave no word on the number of fatalities or the extent of the survivors’
injuries. The police have not confirmed if the number of those killed
includes children or if there were pedestrians involved in the accident.
What we do know is that it was a single-vehicle crash. Of the 35 children
onboard and the bus driver, 23 were sent to local hospitals for their
injuries. In addition, it is being reported that the bus driver is alive
and cooperating with investigators. Hopefully, this tragedy will soon
have a concrete explanation. Governor Bill Haslam has issued a statement
from Nashville offering his assistance.
At our firm, we fiercely advocate for increased safety for school buses.
Our most precious passengers travel on school buses every day, but regulations
regarding school bus safety have been shamefully lax.
Just today, we published a blog about the safety issues common on thousands of school
Sadly, for parents, today is a day for grieving—not reflection. Our
hearts go out to the families of those who were in this accident. We sincerely
hope for comfort for those who were hurt today.