In the aftermath of a tragic school bus accident that killed five children and left 23 others injured Monday afternoon, Chattanooga residents have banded together to donate blood to local hospitals.
People turned out in droves to Blood Assurance, a local donation center, to give back to the community in its time of need.
The bus overturned and struck a tree. The driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.
"We have had an increase in usage in area hospitals,” Mindy Quinn, marketing manager at the center, told InsideEdition.com. “We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of donors showing up.”
Blood Assurance extended hours in its downtown Chattanooga, Gunbarrel and North River/Hixson locations Tuesday to accommodate the influx.
Quinn also said they deployed mobile drives around town.
“The community is just rallying,” said Quinn.
One woman commented that everyone from college students to police officers were in the long line.
The center is fast-tracking donors who have O negative blood, which is the universal blood type, because the need for blood is going to continue, Quinn said.
Ron Fabela, who gave blood at the center, said he knows it's needed.
"I have O negative blood and with accidents involving children I know that is the greatest need. Obviously it's a horrible tragedy," Fabela told InsideEdition.com.