• Memphis pastor counseling bus crash victims and their families

    By: Siobhan Riley


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A pastor who’s counseling children and adults impacted by Monday’s deadly bus crash has a message to those facing trauma from the crash.

    He’s asking people in the community to be patient with those families. That pastor is spending the week counseling faculty at Coleman Elementary.  


    That is where Kameron Johnson, 9, who was killed in the bus crash, attended school. 

    Community Outreach Pastor Charlie Caswell said his own children who attend Coleman Elementary are close friends with one of the kids hurt on the charter bus that crashed Monday near Little Rock.  

    Johnson died and at least 45 children and adults were hurt.

    “Just to know that he’d been hurt and then to hear that the other young man been killed, it’s been questions everyday about just that, what happened and how did it happen,” he said.

    Caswell said these conversations are important to address.

    Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.


    Trending stories:

    “Just being able to take that time to sit down and talk with them and just let them know accidents do happen, it’s sad that this was one that took the life of a child,” said Caswell.

    He said listening is key to helping those impacted by the situation.  

    Caswell told FOX13 you should never ask what’s wrong.

    “If the child is acting out or if the child is in a blank stare, that sitting down and talking to them about life and talking to them about the passing of life and helping them be able to understand that accidents do happen,” he explained.

    Caswell said heartache, sadness and pain are the words to describe how the children and their families he’s counseling this week are feeling.

    “Three things usually happen when you traumatized, you freeze, you fight, or you flight and so allowing that child in this frozen moment just to be able to let them have this time to themselves,” Caswell said.

    Caswell said that time alone is healthy. 

    He said keep in mind this is not going to be an overnight process.

    Caswell is also hosting a Trauma Summit at Impact Baptist Church Jan. 19.

    Next Up: