Dazed Kids Said 'Mama' When Asked Mothers' Name

One mom says she complained about driver for months
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2016 4:20 AM CST
Updated Nov 23, 2016 6:15 AM CST
Dazed Kids Said 'Mama' When Asked Mother's Name
Flowers, signs, and stuffed animals make up a makeshift memorial outside Woodmore Elementary School on Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Doctors at a Chattanooga, Tenn., hospital say there were heartbreaking scenes of confusion when young children arrived after Monday's horrific school bus crash. "Many were scared or too dazed to talk to us," says Dr. Darvey Koller, emergency room chief at TC Thompson Children's Hospital, per the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Some children didn't know their birthdates or their parents' names, and "several said 'Mama' when asked what their mother's name was," he says. Hospital staffers had to send photos of the children, who were in kindergarten to fifth grade, to teachers to find out their identities and contact their parents. Five children were confirmed dead after the crash. Nineteen were treated and released, while 12 remain in the hospital, six in critical condition.

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Cops say driver Johnthony Walker, 24, was going well over the 30mph speed limit when he crashed. The AP reports that Walker, who faces charges including vehicular homicide, was in an accident in September, when he hit an SUV while heading into a blind curve. There were no reports of injuries in that incident. NBC News reports that Jasmine Mateen, whose daughter was killed in the crash, says she had been complaining about Walker's dangerous driving since August. Mateen—whose two other daughters were injured in the crash—says she complained to the school, the board of education, and the bus company after her daughters told her Walker would do things like slam on the brakes on purpose, making the kids hit their heads. (Read more school bus stories.)

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