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Vigil Held For School Bus Crash Victims

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Posted at 11:22 AM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 22:00:26-05

A vigil was held in honor the young victims of a deadly school bus crash in Chattanooga.

The incident happened Monday afternoon on Talley Road, only a few miles from its school, Woodmore Elementary School.

Officials with Hamilton County Schools confirmed that three 4th graders, one 1st grader and one kindergartner were killed in the crash. The driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, was arrested and charged with five counts of homicide.

The vigil was held at New Monumental Baptist Church Tuesday night. The families of those killed in the crash were gathered at the front of the church as they remembered the five lives taken too soon.

Among the many people in attendance was Senator Bob Corker. 

"It's tragic. Somehow or another people are coming together in celebration of the lives and their faith, but the families who are gathered on the front row obviously have a tremendous sense of loss," said Corker.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke tweeted, “There are no words to comfort the broken heart of a mother or father. As I pray for families affected by tragedy, I ask you to do the same.”

After the vigil, friends and family members cheered as they released balloons into the air to celebrate and honor the young lives lost.

The tragedy has pushed the issue of seat belts on school buses into the spot light yet again. When asked about the issue, Corker responded by saying he knew the state would act accordingly.

"I know that the governor has talked about that today and is looking at that both from a standpoint of of seat belts but of training as well and I'm sure our state officials will respond in the appropriate way," he said.

A fund has been set up to assist those affected by the crash. Click here for more information. Woodmore Elementary School also planned to open Wednesday to provide food and support.

I know that the governor has talked about that today and is looking at that both from a standpoint of of seat belts but of training as well and I'm sure our state officials will respond in the appropriate way."