Funerals Begin for Victims of Chattanooga Elementary School Bus Crash
The holiday weekend was a time to grieve for families in Tennessee whose children were among the youngsters killed in a horrific school bus crash.
Funerals were held over the weekend for two children killed after a Chattanooga bus crashed Monday into a tree, killing six.
At the Redemption Point Church, mourners gathered Sunday to say goodbye to 9-year-old Cor’Dayja Jones.
The fourth grader's pastor remembered her as a child who made everyone's day a little brighter.
"She was the most genuine child you could ever meet. You know when people say, that ‘oh man — they leave everyone smiling’? And they just say it? For Cor’Dayja it really meant that," the Pastor Moriah Stanley said.
Also laid to rest Sunday was 10-year-old Zyanna Harris. Zyanna "loved to dance" and had "a good heart" her stepfather told local news outlet WREG.
A GoFundMe campaign is asking for donations that will help Harris's family offset funeral expenses and can be found here.
A funeral for 9-year old Zoie Nash’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday.
Zoie was on the bus with her brother Zecheriah when 24-year-old driver Johnthony Walker crashed into a tree. Zecheriah was one of 24 hospitalized but survived the crash.
Their mother described to the Times Free Press the anguished moment she told her son what happened to his sister.
"I told him she got her wings, she was in heaven," Misti Nash said. "And he understood. He cried."
Another GoFundMe campaign has been set up by the siblings' sister, Daquesha, to help the Nash family pay for Zack's medical expenses and the costs of Zoie's funeral.
In addition to startling reports that authorities received complaints about Walker's behavior behind the wheel in the months prior to the crash, WRCB reports that he was involved in an accident while driving a bus two months ago.
On September 20, Walker was driving a school bus in Chattanooga when, according to a police report, he sideswiped a Kia Soul going in the opposite direction after he allegedly failed to yield while maneuvering through a blind curve.
The report indicated that children were not sitting in the front rows but did not state whether students were onboard in the back.
No one was hurt and there was no indication that alcohol or drugs were involved. No charges were filed.
Following Monday's crash, Walker has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.
Court documents allege Walker was driving well over the posted 30 mph limit when he lost control of the bus, which ended up wrapped around a tree.
Walker is due in court Tuesday.