The 5 young children KILLED in the fatal Chattanooga bus crash have faces. The IDENTITIES of the youth were revealed.
Of the five children confirmed dead after Monday’s crash, three were fourth-graders, one was a first-grader and one was a kindergartner.
The five victims have been identified as Cordayja Jones, 9, Zoie Nash, 9, D’Myunn Brown, 6, Zyanna Harris, 10, and Zyaira Mateen, 6.
We now know the names of the five children who died in Monday's bus crash. More at the link: https://t.co/YvQYX6Yapc pic.twitter.com/eA5g7AxgXk— Alana LaFlore (@AlanaLaFlore) November 23, 2016
The bus left Woodmore Elementary School Monday afternoon with 37 students and did not make any stops before the crash, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher A. Hart said Tuesday.
The school bus was heading down a narrow and winding road well above the speed limit of 30 mph, according to an arrest affidavit for Walker.
“Mr. Walker lost control of the bus and swerved off of the roadway to the right, striking an elevated driveway and mailbox, swerved to the left and began to overturn, striking a telephone pole and a tree,” the affidavit says.
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher told HLN that the “driving was reckless and unsafe for conditions at the time.”
Walker’s blood sample has been sent to state lab for processing, he said.
The bus did not have seat belts.
At sunset the community filled the New Monumental Baptist Church across the elementary School for a vigil.
Hundreds of mourners filled the pews. They cried and raised their hands in prayer as they sang of how God is in control, and that no matter how bleak the situation, things will get better.
A survivor of the crash hobbled to the front of the crowd in crutches, bringing the tearful crowd to its feet.
“We love the children of Woodmore with all our hearts. We will grieve together and honor our children’s lives,” Hamilton County Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly said.
The NTSB plans to speak with the driver, who has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
Walker received his commercial driver’s license in April, Hart said. Since then, records show he received a traffic citation for side-swiping a car in September while driving a school bus.
After the crash, Walker’s mother said she got a phone call from her son, who told her he’d been in a “drastic accident” and tried to explain what had happened before police took his phone away.
“He was trying to get them (children) off the bus — all the bodies were limp,” Gwenevere Cook said. “There was blood everywhere. He has been cooperating with the police. He texted me minutes later saying the kids are dead.”
Cook expressed condolences to the victims’ families and asked for compassion for her son, describing him as a respected man and a father of a 3-year-old son who worked two jobs and had never been in trouble before.
“It is a horrible nightmare,” Cook said. “I feel bad for my son, and I am torn up for the (victims’) family members.”