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Parents of injured students react to bus crash charges

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Oct 03 2012 05:18:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 03 2012 12:17:00 PM CDT

New information about charges against a Washington County, Tennessee bus driver is loaded with emotion for the parents of kids who rode on that bus the day it crashed.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

New information about charges against a Washington County, Tennessee bus driver is loaded with emotion for the parents of kids who rode on that bus the day it crashed.

"I could've lost three of my kids in one day; one day. Three of my children could've been taken from me. I have nightmares about my kids in coffins," said Donna Stewart, the mother of three kids who were inside the bus that crashed on Mount Wesley Road last month.

Weeks later, the healing continues its long and slow process inside Stewart's home.

Wednesday parents and students got some answers as to what to happened on that trip home from school.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol's investigation revealed the bus was driving down Mount Wesley Road at least 27 miles per hour over the speed limit of 30 miles per hour. That's something parents said is just not acceptable.

"I'm upset that she put our children in danger; not just mine but others as well," said Barbara Story.

Barbara Story's son was hurt in the crash, but when prosecutors revealed charges against bus driver Brenda Gray, Story said she had mixed emotions.

"We love Ms. Gray. Our children love Ms. Gray, and I haven't had time to process the whole thing," Story told News 5.

Though Story said as a bus driver, Gray has the lives of students in her hands. "I'm very hurt by it to know she did put our children in jeopardy," Story added.

We learned for Donna Stewart, she couldn't be more relieved to see charges filed. "I hope [Gray] gets some serious jail time. I really do. I hope she's in there for a long time and has a lot of time to sit and think about what she could've done to each and every one of those kids," Stewart said.

Her son Michael Brown, whose back was injured in that wreck, told News 5 he agrees with his mom; he says he'll never forget the trauma of that day. "How I feel, I'm probably not going to forgive her, cause like I said, it could've been prevented," said Brown.

News 5 did some digging into the legal actions of this case and learned the school system has been contacted by two attorneys representing three students.

We learned no lawsuits have been filed as of yet, but attorney Don Spurrell, who is representing one of the injured students, told us he believes there is no question the county in liable in this case. He believes there may be lots of settlements in the future.