Family members honor Woodmore bus crash victims three years later

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Three years ago today, six children were killed in the Woodmore bus crash.

Zyanna Harris’ family went to her gravestone at Forest Hills Cemetery to release balloons in her honor.

“She loved to dance. She loved her family. She especially loved her brother, she always stayed on her brother, trying to keep him in line. She was a wonderful girl,” said Ruth Smith, Zyanna’s grandmother.

Zyanna was one of the six children killed in the Woodmore bus crash.

“I think that it is really important to remember that these were six children that were really loved and cherished by their families, by their friends and by their teachers and their principals, so we think it is important every year to take some time and remember the loss and celebrate the lives,” said Jill Levine, the assistant superintendent with Hamilton County Schools.

Woodmore Elementary School held a private event for families to tie a ribbons on trees planted in memory of the kids.

“I think we need to remember these young children and how special they were to so many people. The families are deeply impacted and always will be, also the teachers are and the administrators. When you go into education you go into education to help children and move them forward, not to lose them and so there are just lots of people who struggle on this day,” Levine said.

School administrators say it is also important to remember the dozens of kids who were injured.

“Many of those children have lasting injuries and of course they remember, so it is important for us to recognize that and take the time to acknowledge that.”

Smith say it is important to honor these children and learn from this incident.

“We learned now to start taking people’s concerns to heart, just don’t let them bypass us. I think the schools system really learned a lesson and I am hoping Chattanooga has learned a lesson to be more conscious of what goes on with our children,” Smith said.

The bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was convicted for his role in the crash.

He was sentenced to four years in 2018.


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