Remembering Woodmore one month after deadly bus crash - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Remembering Woodmore one month after deadly bus crash

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Wednesday marked one month since the Woodmore bus crash that claimed the lives of six children.

First responders and school officials reflected on the tragedy.

READ MORE | Woodmore bus crash

"There's not a day that's gone by that i haven't thought about it," Paramedic Stacie Liles said.

She and her partner were the first paramedics on scene for the deadly Woodmore bus crash. Liles expected it to be just another call, but when they turned on Talley road, she called it a life changer.

"Best word to describe it is chaos," Liles said.

She saw kids, neighbors, and several police cruisers.

Liles knew she had to pull herself together and be strong. It wasn't until hours later, she broke down.

"I cried. I cried for a few days. I could still cry," Liles said.

Hamilton County Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly called it the most difficult 24 hours of his life. He said telling parents their children didn't make it out of the crash still weighs on him.

"One tragedy would be more than you really want to deal with, but here you're dealing with six. Then also we have a lot of students who also were injured. Just a tough situation for all of us," Dr. Kirk Kelly said.

He sees his role as supporting the affected families for as long as they need.

As for Liles, what will stick with her is the special bond she created with a little girl who she cared for in her ambulance for nearly 2 hours.

"It was. It was a long time to be with her and as she heals and gets better, it makes me happy," Liles said.

Knowing she's getting better is what's pushing her through each day. Liles sees hope in all of this, but realizes it'll take time.

"We have this thing we say. They're called scars. These are my scars and I will carry this with me through my career probably for the rest of my life," Liles said.

The school bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide in the crash. Police said a sixth charge of vehicular homicide will be added.

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