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Crash brings legal concerns for school board

Jennifer Sprouse • Oct 4, 2012 at 10:36 PM

The Washington County Board of Education discussed possible legal repercussions of last month’s bus wreck that injured 27 David Crockett High School students behind closed doors during Thursday’s meeting.

When the board members emerged from the executive meeting, Director of Schools Ron Dykes said the group met quickly in regard to potential litigation following the crash.

“We just met to determine the system’s response to some potential letters we have received regarding a possible representation by some attorneys on behalf of some of the students,” Dykes said.

Prior to the private meeting, Vice Chairman Chad Williams motioned to bring the concern over seat belts on buses back to the table for further discussion.

He said overall bus safety should also be addressed by the committee.

Dykes said he could not pinpoint when the seat belt safety concerns would be discussed in a board meeting, but he is hopeful the committee will be able to provide the board with some valuable information when that time comes.

He took time to publicly announce his and the board’s appreciation for the emergency management teams that took quick action on the day of the crash.

Among those involved in the effort, Dykes mentioned his appreciation for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Ed Graybeal, Maj. Gary Bradley, the multiple Washington County-Johnson City EMS stations, the Washington County-Johnson City Emergency Management Agency, Embreeville, Limestone and Nolichucky Volunteer Fire departments, Limestone Fire Corps, area citizens and neighbors, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Mount Wesley United Methodist Church, which served as the rendezvous point following the crash.

Wellmont 1 air rescue unit, Wings air rescue unit, the surgeons and medical staff at all care units, in particular Johnson City Medical Center, Franklin Woods and Wellmont hospital, also were mentioned.

The board also gave certificates to three teachers –– Donna Riddle, Cindy Garland and Robert St. John –– who were all named Washington County Teachers of the Year.

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