School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Five Students Are Dead in Tennessee Bus Crash

By The Associated Press — November 29, 2016 1 min read

A school bus driver who authorities say was speeding along a narrow, winding road when he wrapped his vehicle around a tree last week was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide in the deaths of five children.

Twelve remained hospitalized last week, six in intensive care, said Hamilton County Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly.

Three of the children killed were in 4th grade, one was in 1st grade, and another in kindergarten, Kelly said.The Nov. 21 wreck plunged the city of Chattanooga into mourning, with parents stricken by the news and people lining up to donate blood.

Police said Johnthony Walker, 24, was driving well over the 30 mph limit when he lost control of the bus. He was jailed on $107,500 bail for a court appearance Nov. 29 on charges that also included reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Thirty-five Woodmore Elementary School students from kindergarten through 5th grade were aboard when the bus flipped onto its side and hit a tree. No other vehicle was involved.

Emergency crews needed almost two hours to get all the youngsters off the bus. Bloodied children lay on stretchers, while others walked away dazed with their parents. More than 20 injured students were taken to the hospital, police said.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate, and police obtained a warrant to remove black-box data on the vehicle’s movements.

The driver was employed by an outside bus contractor, Durham School Services. Walker appeared to have no criminal record in Tennessee, authorities said.

Durham CEO David A. Duke wrote on Twitter that the company was “devastated” by the accident and working with police and school officials to investigate.

The company has had 346 crashes over two years, including three resulting in deaths and 142 with injuries, federal figures show. During that period, it had 53 incidents involving unsafe driving violations.

Related Tags:

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Special Education Teachers
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Opinion Teaching's 'New Normal'? There's Nothing Normal About the Constant Threat of Death
As the bizarre becomes ordinary, don't forget what's at stake for America's teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Justin Minkel.
4 min read
14Minkel IMG
Gremlin/E+
School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor Invisibility to Inclusivity for LGBTQ Students
To the Editor:
I read with interest “The Essential Traits of a Positive School Climate” (Special Report: “Getting School Climate Right: A Guide for Principals,” Oct. 14, 2020). The EdWeek Research Center survey of principals and teachers provides interesting insight as to why there are still school climate issues for LGBTQ students.
1 min read
School Climate & Safety As Election 2020 Grinds On, Young Voters Stay Hooked
In states like Georgia, the push to empower the youth vote comes to fruition at a time when “every vote counts” is more than just a slogan.
6 min read
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Brynn Anderson/AP
School Climate & Safety Opinion The Pandemic Is Raging. Here's How to Support Your Grieving Students
What do students who have experienced a loss need in the classroom? Brittany R. Collins digs into the science.
Brittany R. Collins
5 min read
13Collins IMG
Benjavisa Ruangvaree/iStock