THP: Bus wreck final report expected next week

Becky Campbell • Sep 28, 2012 at 10:14 PM

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is still gathering information and reports from several entities to compile into a final report on the Washington County school bus crash that injured 28 David Crockett High School students.

THP Sgt. Diane Mays said the lead investigator, Trooper William Shelton, has also talked to some students who were on the bus, but not to the victims in a collective group. Those witness statements, along with the driver’s statement, a bus investigator’s report and the evidence gathered from the scene by the THP Critical Incident Response Team, or CIRT, should be ready to discuss with District Attorney Tony Clark on Wednesday, Mays said.

Mays said Friday she does not have the critical information available yet that many people are asking — particularly the speed of the bus at the time of the crash.

The driver, Brenda Gray, 54, of Jonesborough, lost control of the bus around 3 p.m. Sept. 20 on Mount Wesley Road.

She had just picked up 42 students from David Crockett and had not made any stops, according to the school district.

As Gray topped a hill and entered a curve on Mount Wesley, the bus went off the left side of the road, then Gray steered it back to the right and the wheels dropped off that side too. That’s when the bus began to roll. Officials said the bus rolled at least three times before stopping at the driveway of 477 Mount Wesley Road.

Several students were airlifted by helicopter to the Johnson City Medical Center and the others were transported by Washington County/Johnson City EMS. The injured were distributed to the Medical Center, Franklin Woods Hospital and one was taken to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport.

Twelve students were admitted, and the last of those was released earlier this week.

Gray is on unpaid administrative leave while the investigation is pending. Gray also was transported to the hospital with chest pains after the crash.

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