Bus Driver Not Charged In Death Of Chattanooga Elementary Student

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Updated: 4/19 12:39 am
         ROSSVILLE (WDEF)- "This is probably the hardest crash or investigation I've done. It's been pretty tough for me."
A week of unimaginable grief for the Chattanooga Valley Elementary community. The results of a week long investigation into the death of Zackery Bryant. A tragic accident, with no charges filed against the bus driver.
"There was nothing that I had seen in the investigation process that would have violated a law in the state of Georgia. I contacted the district attorney Mr. Franklin and he agreed that there would be no criminal charges," said Sgt. Tommy Sturdivan, the investigating officer with the Georgia State Patrol.
Investigators say school bus video shows the driver following proper procedure.
"He looks forward to see if there's anything, then he looks to the right and he sees nothing. He shuts the door on the bus disengages the parking brake and puts the bus in drive and starts to move forward. You can see Zackery where he leaves the bus, he's walking right along side the right front tire and he gets right in front of the bus," said Sturdivan.
That's when investigators believe the boy bent down, possibly to pick up a video game.
"It was lying beside his left hand there. It had some marks on it, like he had dropped it at some point and time. He may have bent over, which makes his stature even half of what it already is. He was 41 and a half inches tall, which means that he would have to be approximately 250 to 270 inches out in front of this particular bus to be visible by the driver," added Sturdivan.
Walker County School officials say the driver is shaken up, but for now remains with the school system according to Walker County School Superintendent Damon Raines.
"He takes his job very seriously, he loves his children, loves his students, he's had a lot of support from the community, but he will also have to live with this, so he is definitely struggling right now, but we are providing the resources we can to help him get through this."
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NickAndros423 - 4/19/2014 5:24 PM
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God help both the family and bus driver... what a tragic event.
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