Woodmore mothers talk about what they've learned since bus crash - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Woodmore mothers talk about what they've learned since bus crash

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The road through grief is long and painful. 

The rear view offers clarity but for the parents with children on Bus 366, the warning signs were there. 

Five Woodmore Elementary School mothers find comfort together as they share their story with Channel 3. 

For Diamound Brown and Misti Nash, their interactions with bus driver Johnthony Walker were nothing out of the ordinary. 

"The first one was just him telling me that my son is always dancing in the aisles, could I ask him to have a seat while I'm driving. I told I would, which I had the conversation and I never heard anything else about it," Brown said. 

READ MORE | Woodmore bus crash

"He didn't get smart with me. We had a decent conversation like two grown ups would have a conversation," Nash added. 

But Demetrius Wilson and Jasmine Mateen have a different story. 

Wilson's son Keonte didn't always get to ride the bus. 

"He had a lot of suspensions off the bus. Him and the bus driver really didn't get along," Wilson said. 

"They came home almost every day complaining about him and I would write letters, I would call up to the school, I would go to the school and the bus stop and nothing ever happened," Mateen added. 

Mateen and Brown say the school system and the bus company had plenty of information to deal with Walker. 

"They failed us. Johnthony Walker didn't fail me as a mother," Brown said. 

Since the crash, Brown said she learned Walker skipped Durham's required safety meetings, a claim Durham has not confirmed. 

Brown said the company should have followed up. 

"He could have gotten any kind of tips out of those safety meetings that could have helped him be a better bus driver or helped him be a little safer on the bus," she added. 

Misti Nash met privately with Durham's CEO to discuss the crash that killed her daughter Zoie. 

A meeting, she said, helped her deal with grief. 

"I don't blame him for what happened. It was an accident," Nash said, "Everybody feels like Durham doesn't understand where we're coming from but in my opinion and how I feel, I feel like they do."

Latesha Jones is not convinced. 

She lost her daughter Cor'dayja and it's hard for her not to assign blame. 

"First of all he was on the wrong route. Second, he was speeding. Everything could have been prevented," Jones said. 

Despite their differences, shared sorrow bonded them and purpose now unites them. 

That purpose: Forever change the way children get to and from school. 

"This is a lesson for this to never have to happen again," Brown said.

A lesson that adds focus to the road ahead, a road of remembrance. 

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