Student Remembers Hearing Screams During Bus Crash
EAST JACKSON, Tenn. — A student said he remembers hearing screams as a Jackson Madison County school bus crashed on the side of the road into a tree on Friday. The bus driver and five students were sent to the hospital with minor injuries. One parent tells WBBJ that Jackson-Madison County Schools student Quantavious Mathis held onto her son and other children as the driver lost control of the bus. Mathis remembers what happened when his school bus started to run off the road Friday morning. “When everything went down the ditch, it went haywire then, everyone started going everywhere,” he said. Mathis described the chaos inside the bus moments after it crashed. “I witnessed everybody screaming and shouting on the bus about what happened. They wanted their parents, to call their mom,” Mathis said. He said that is when students frantically tried to find a way off the bus. “Everyone like kicking out and trying to open the windows and back door just trying to get out,” Mathis said. Mathis was called a hero among his peers after protecting younger students on the bus. “The 6th graders, I wrapped them up. I pulled them down towards the bottom so they would not move,” he said. Mathis said the accident made him feel lucky to be alive. “I helped the kids and had them on one side of the bus. It was an amazing experience to me but a scary experience because I thought I was going to lose my life,” he explained. He also said because of this crash he learned one of his biggest strengths. “To be a leader of things, try to take over things, try to help people get out of situations,” Mathis said. Quantavious’ mother said she is glad her son was there to help calm scared students. School officials said the bus driver in Friday morning’s crash, 46-year-old Michelle Hamilton, had two minor school bus accidents in the past. Police said she was not cited in the most current crash and will likely return back to work.