Deadly school bus crash in Tennessee: 5 things to know

Multiple children are dead after an elementary school bus crashed Monday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1. At least six children were reportedly killed. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the bus, which was carrying 37 students from Woodmore Elementary School, careened into a tree Monday afternoon, killing five children at the scene. Chattanooga Police confirmed Wednesday that a sixth child died. At a late-night news conference, Chattanooga police said six kids were critically injured, six admitted to hospitals, and 20 were treated and released from hospitals. Although police did not confirm any other deaths, the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office said earlier Monday that one more child died at the hospital.

2. Bus driver Johnthony Walker was arrested and charged. According to the Times Free Press, Walker, 24, faces five counts of vehicular homicide in addition to charges of reckless endangerment and reckless driving, police said late Monday.

3. Authorities said speed may have been a factor in the crash. "It is a complicated crime scene that covers a significant area," Chattanooga police Chief Fred Fletcher said. "I can't tell you if there were any issues (with road conditions). There were none that jumped out. Right now it appears that one contributing factor may be speed but that is part of an active, ongoing investigation."

The National Transportation Safety Board also will investigate the incident, according to The Associated Press.

4. Authorities aren't releasing the victims' names because they are minors. Three of the victims were in fourth grade, one in first grade and one in kindergarten, according to WHBQ.

"Our hearts go out, as well as the hearts of all these people behind me, to the families, the neighborhood, the school, for all the people involved in this, we assure you we are doing everything we can," Fletcher said.
Officials said counselors will be available at Hamilton County schools Tuesday to help children cope.

5. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other officials are offering their condolences. "We're going to do everything we can to assist in any way," Haslam said, according to the Times Free Press. "It's a sad situation anytime there's a school bus with children involved, which there is in this case. We will do everything we can to assist in what I think is going to be a very sad situation."

Haslam also offered his thoughts and prayers for the victims.
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