A NewsChannel 5 investigation first revealed eye-opening lessons from a deadly school bus crash. It has lawmakers talking about putting seat belts on school buses. And, now, two mothers who lost children say even more could be done to protect other kids.
They are two mothers united in grief, their two children united in death.
"What better else than to be buried beside somebody that you know?"
Yet, even at the resting place for 9-year-old Daniel Pack and 6-year-old Kayla Silvers, the distant wail of a train's horn brings a haunting reminder.
"Once you hear that train, these if ands or buts goes through your head," Kayla's mom Sonja Miller tells NewsChannel 5's chief investigative reporter Phil Williams.
The questions go back to the morning five years ago that they got on a school bus.
Daniel headed straight for the back. "He loved that back seat," recalls Daniel's mom June Sluder.
Kayla skipped down the aisle, first taking one seat, then moving closer to 9-year-old Amber Pritchett.
And in those last moments of their lives, this is what their mothers want you to see:
"I want them to see the carelessness, the way our kids were really taken care of," Miller says.
That morning the driver had an old country song cranked up on the radio.
"I don't see how she could not hear the train," Sluder says.
But inside the bus, all they heard was George Jones and Tammy Wynette as the bus crossed into a train's path.
Kayla was sitting right where it hit, as was her friend Amber.
Still, Daniel's mom still wonders whether it might have ended differently if he'd had a seat belt.
"He might have survived it," Sluder says, "'cause he was slung out of the bus."
Yet, any thoughts that their children's deaths might lead to efforts to keep other children safe are now just as distant as the horns of the passing trains.
"What has changed since your children died?" Williams asks the two women.
"Just arms on the railroad crossing," Miller replies. "That's it."
Today, there are lights and gates at the crossing where the children were killed. That's because, under Tennessee state law, they're required - but only after a life has been lost.
In fact, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) says that at more than 600 railroad crossings across Tennessee, school buses drive across tracks where there are not any sort of warning signals.
That's why crash investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that Tennessee install stop signs at such crossings -- unless the sign itself would create a safety hazard.
And remember the music on the bus.
Investigators suggested that states require that all school buses have noise-reducing switches. Those would kill all radio and fan noise inside a bus when the driver stops for railroad crossings.