Witness: Bus driver didn't help kids after fatal Chattanooga accident

Witness: Bus driver didn't help children

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WXIA) -- WXIA is learning new accounts from witnesses who were on the scene of a fatal school bus accident in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Monday.

WXIA's Ron Jones spoke with one eyewitness who said he spoke with the driver right after the crash. The witness said he could hear screams coming from inside the bus.

"I saw three or four kids running down the street towards me," John Dodds said.

Dodds said he was driving when he was flagged down by several hysterical elementary school kids. They were passengers who survived the crash. 

PHOTOS | Memorial for Chattanooga school bus crash victims

"And they weren't waving at me, they were trying to get me to stop," he said.

Dodds was shocked with what he found: a school bus wrapped around a tree and screaming kids inside.

As some children climbed out the front window, he noticed a man sitting nearby.

"And the driver was sitting on this wall and I just asked him was [he] driving the bus and he says I was and I didn't say anything else to him," Dodds said.

PHOTOS: Fatal school bus crash in Chattanooga 

The driver was later identified as 24-year-old Johnthony Walker of Chattanooga. 

“He didn't say anything,” Dodds said. “And he was just sitting there on the wall,” Dodds said.

Days later, there was still lots of emotion and tears from complete strangers as they left letters, toys and balloons.

"I'm just lost for words. Five babies, six babies? And it's just heartbreaking that's why came by,” local mother Angie Cornett said. “I just want to show my respects and my condolence and everything."

Dodds said that, based on what he witnessed, the bus driver wasn’t tending to the children still in the bus or on the scene.

“I did not see him help one kid out of the bus,” Dodds said. 

Investigators said Wednesday that no drugs or alcohol were found in the system of the school bus driver.

(© 2016 WXIA)


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