Neighbors Recall Moments Of Deadly School Bus Crash

Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 07:13:52-05

Moments after a school bus crashed on a curvy two-lane road in Chattanooga, neighbors heard the screams of the dozens of children inside and rushed to get them out.

"They were terrified. They were actually screaming. There were six or seven that were able to escape through the rear roof hatch," said Ed Wilson.

Neighbors on Talley Road immediately called 911 after realizing what happened.

"I told them that we needed ambulances and emergency vehicles. We just need everything," said Elise Graswell Martin.

She and other neighbors started to try to help kids out of the bus that hit a mailbox, a utility pole, and finally a tree. Many were covered in blood.

"They were just crying and screaming," said Martin

The National Transportation Safety Board arrived on scene Tuesday to start investigating as parents tried to find the right words to say to their children, like Demetrius Jenkins, who's sons best friend died in the crash.

"I don't know how to explain it. You know, him losing somebody that's so close to him. Every morning he gets here, she give him a hug. I mean, I love you, that's what they say to each other. I love you, I love you. I just don't know how to explain it because they were so close, said Jenkins.

Through it all, members of the community said they'll do what they can to support each other while they try to come to terms with this unthinkable tragedy.

"It's just a horrible time for them to be dealing with this type of a thing anytime, but here it is, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and it's just horrific, and our hearts really go out to them. I know all of Chattanooga is likewise praying for them," said Wilson.