Neighbor recalls moment school bus crashed into Chattanooga yard

Mary Smith (Photo: WKRN)
Mary Smith (Photo: WKRN)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Along windy Tally Road on Tuesday, motorists spotted a bouquet of balloons, teddy bears, and candles.

Chattanooga has turned out in droves, paying respects to five little lives lost.

Mary Smith (Photo: WKRN)

“I don’t have any children, but this is just so heartbreaking,” said Shateria Jones outside the makeshift memorial. “This is horrible.”

Mourners both tall and small filled the yard of Mary Smith. She was home, upstairs when the school bus careened into a nearby tree.

PHOTOS: Deadly Chattanooga school bus crash

“I ain’t never heard nothing like that before in my life,” said Smith. “The wheels were still turning on the bus, you know, and some kids had got thrown out of the bus.”

All the neighbors jumped into action, attending to dozens of dazed and confused students.

Talley Road memorial (Photo: WKRN)
Talley Road memorial (Photo: WKRN)

“One little boy, he was telling me that he couldn’t find his shoe. Another little boy couldn’t find his sister,” explained Smith. “They were just hollering and screaming, all of them in a different tone.”

Tuesday, outside of work, Mary stayed mostly indoors as the memorial outside grew.

She allowed everyone through to stop by and find solace, as she hopes to process and forget.

“It was really something to see,” said Smith. “I hope I never have to see, or witness something like that again.”

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