Monday morning's fatal school bus accident in front of Chattanooga Valley Elementary has resonated with many.
In a sad twist of fate,both the bus driver and the lead investigator know what Zackery Bryant's parents are going through.
A fact that came to light as authorities announced no criminal charges will be filed against the bus driver.
"Not only did it affect the Bryant family, they've lost a child, Mister Hitchcox, as most of you know lost a child 3 years ago, and I
lost one 32 years ago," affirms Georgia State Patrol Investigator Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan, as he briefs media Friday
that no criminal charges will be filed against the bus driver in the case.
Sturdivan says after reviewing videotape from 3 separate cameras, it was roughly 6:51 that morning when Zackery got off
his bus and then hopped back on to recover a forgotten item. Instead of exiting the bus and heading straight to class,
Zackery dropped a handheld video game as the bus departed "It appears to all three of
us that he may have bent over to pick something up in
front of the bus which makes his stature, even half
of what it already is,” says Sturdivan, flanked by Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson and Lookout Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin.
“The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, torso and extremities from the tire,” relays Walker County Coroner DeWayne Wilson of the GBI’s autopsy results on the six year old.
Walker school officials say while no one was at fault, the tragedy will prompt them to revisit their safety protocols
“We're always looking at safety procedures, constantly trying to make sure we're doing what's exact and what's best for those students safety
everyday,:” says Walker Schools Superintendent Damon Raines. “We're definitely going to sit down and look at all the procedures at this point to see if there's anything we're doing to increase that safety."
Sturdivan says prior to Friday’s news conference, he spoke personally to the Bryant family about the accident investigation. Sturdivan says its the Bryant’s family request for local media not to broadcast the surveillance camera images of their son’s final moments.
WRCB Channel 3 Eyewitness News is honoring the Bryant family’s wishes.