• Police: A sixth child has died as a result of the deadly school bus crash

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -
    The Latest
    • A sixth child has died, according to Chattanooga police
    • No drugs or alcohol were found in the bus driver's system
    • 11 students in hospital; 5 in critical condition and 6 stable
    • Police say speed likely a factor in crash
    • NTSB examining surveillance video
    • Mother who lost child says she filed complaint about driver
    Six students who were on board a school bus that crashed into a tree Monday afternoon remain in critical condition at Chattanooga hospital.
    The bus was carrying roughly three dozen students from Woodmore Elementary School at the time of the crash. Children's Hospital at Erlanger said they received 31 patients from the single-vehicle crash. Five students, four girls and one boy, were killed. Three of the victims were in fourth grade, one in first grade and one in kindergarten.

    Of the students taken to the hospital, 19 were treated and released. Twelve remain in the hospital Tuesday.
    911 calls from the scene of a deadly bus crash reveal the panic onlookers felt as they stumbled upon the aftermath. 
    The crash in Chattanooga left five children dead. A vigil was held for those victims Tuesday night.
    Chattanooga police investigating deadly bus crash
    Chattanooga police are investigating a deadly crash that killed five elementary school students on Monday. 
    The children killed in the crash have been identified as D'Myunn Brown, 6, Zyanna Harris, 10, Cordayja Jones, 9, Zyaira Mateen, 6, and Zoie Nash, 9.
    The children killed in a deadly school bus crash in Chattanooga have been identified as D'Myunn Brown, 6, Zyanna Harris, 10, Cordayja Jones, 9, Zyaira Mateen, 6, and Zoie Nash, 9.
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.
    Police said they will continue to interview witnesses, talk to the children on the bus and review bus camera footage as they look into the cause of the crash. 
    Despite reports, police said there is no evidence that the crash was a deliberate act. 
    Police said their main concern at the time is making sure the families affected by the crash have the support they need.
    911 calls from  deadly school bus crash describe what looked like, "a horror movie"
    One 911 caller described seeing children thrown from the bus, comparing the scene to something out of a horror movie. 

    Breakdown of students:
    • 37 on board the bus
    • 5 killed, 4 boys and 1 girl
    • 12 in hospital; 6 in critical condition and 6 stable
    • 19 treated and released

    Mother who lost child says she filed complaint about driver

    One of the students killed was identified as 6-year-old Zyaira Mateen. Her sisters -- Zasmyn Mateen, 6, and Zacauree'A Brown, 10, -- are in the hospital. 

    The girls’ mother, Jasmine Mateen, said she is heartbroken, but trying to stay strong.

    “She was always, always doing something silly to make you laugh, make you feel loved,” she said, of her daughter Zyaira, who died.

    Mateen says Zasmyn and Zacauree’A have broken bones, a concussion and severe neck injuries. 

    She said she had filed complaints with the school system about the bus driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, since school started.

    “I’ve been doing this since the first day of school, when he was on the bus smoking,” Mateen said. “But now the Board of Education wants to call me. ‘We doing something about it.’ Yeah, now that these kids are dead. These kids are injured,” Mateen said.

    NTSB investigates crash

    National Transportation Safety Board investigators are also looking into the deadly crash.

    They say the bus driver was going well over the posted speed limit of 30 mph before the crash.

    >>RELATED: Deadly school bus crash in Tennessee: 5 things to know

    According to the NTSB, the bus had just left the school and no students had been dropped off yet.

    Investigators are looking over every part of the bus, including surveillance cameras.

    They are also talking to the bus driver.

    Investigators said they will be on the scene for the next few days, but probable cause will not be determined during that time.

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    Bus driver charged

    24-year-old Johnthony Walker is now charged with multiple counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving. Dozens of other kids were injured. 

    Chattanooga police say speed is being investigated "very, very strongly" as a factor in the crash.

    "It is a complicated crime scene that covers a significant area. I can't tell you if there were any issues (with road conditions). There were none that jumped out. Right now it appears that one contributing factor may be speed but that is part of an active, ongoing investigation," CPD Chief Fred Fletcher said.

    It was a horrifying scene Monday, as the school bus Walker was driving slammed into a tree and split apart.
    Several people had to be extricated from the bus. No other cars were involved in the crash. 
    Tragedy and heartbreak struck across the state of Tennessee.

    Chattanooga police say speed is being investigated "very, very strongly" as a factor in the crash.

    Fletcher said the federal government, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and several others have reached out to offer assistance. The NTSB tweeted Monday night that it will be investigating the crash on Tuesday.

    A blood donation center in Chattanooga had a line out the door after asking for donations for crash victims.

    The Chattanooga mayor said the number 5 "is a cursed number in our city." 

    FOX13 has learned that Walker could be facing even more charges in the coming days.

    Durham School Services released a statement about the tragedy: 

    "Our entire team at Durham School Services is devastated by the accident yesterday that tragically claimed the lives of Chattanooga students. We are working with Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County School District to investigate. We also have additional team members arriving in Chattanooga today to provide support. We have offered to provide counseling to students and families of Hamilton County, as well as our employees. We will provide all further updates in coordination with the Chattanooga Police Department and the District." 

    How to help        

    The Hamilton County School District and the United Way partnered to create the “Woodmore fund” to help the families of students involved in the crash.

    “We know the families impacted the most by this tragedy will need our assistance in the days, weeks, and months to come. From immediate medical bills to long-term care, many of our Woodmore families will need both financial assistance and community support,” the United Way wrote on its website.

    To donate to the fund, click here.

    A blood donation center in Chattanooga also reached out to the community for help. 

    Within an hour, Blood Assurance had a line out the door of people wanting to donate blood. The center extended its hours Monday night and Tuesday. At times, the wait was up to two hours to donate.

    Mayor: '5 is a cursed number'

    The mayor of Chattanooga, Andy Berke, spoke briefly Tuesday morning, saying, "Five is a cursed number in our city right now."

    Berke was referring to a shooting at a military recruiting center last year that also resulted in five deaths.

    Speaking with Kelly in front Woodmore elementary, Berke said, "We are again dealing with unimaginable loss."

    Berke said the first responders did all that they could to save the lives of the children on the bus Monday.

    "They did amazing work under very, very difficult circumstances," he said.

    Berke said the entire city is praying for the victims' families.

    "The most unnatural thing in the world is for parents to mourn the loss of a child. There are no words that can bring comfort to a mother or a father," he said.




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