CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WKRN) – The school bus involved in the deadly crash that killed five young children in Chattanooga is owned and contracted out by Durham School Services.
Two days after the accident, the company issued an emotional video response given by CEO Davis Duke.
Duke choked back tears, saying he has “struggled with what to say” after the tragedy.
“I’m a father and a grandfather, and one morning Tuesday morning this week, I found myself staring at one of my children as they slept. I can’t fathom the anguish of the parents whose children were involvedin this horrific accident, and that it involved one of my companies buses,” he said.
Duke went on to say he is “deeply sorry” for the children and he’s filled with pain after the tragedy.
“My job now is to look for answers–answers to why this tragedy occurred and answers for how we can make sure that this never, ever happens again,” he noted.
The video comes after Durham School Services sent a written statement the morning after the crash, saying they are “devastated by the accident… that tragically claimed the lives of Chattanooga students.”
“We are working with Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County School District to investigate. We also have additional team members arriving in Chattanooga today to provide support,” Davis Duke, the CEO said in a press release.
“We have offered to provide counseling to students and families of Hamilton County, as well as our employees. We will provide all further updates in coordination with the Chattanooga Police Department and the District,” Duke continued.
According to Durham’s records, the company has inspected 5,000 buses over the past two years.
One-thousand buses and eight drivers were found to have violations. In most of those cases, the drivers did not have a CDL, a commercial driver’s license.
In those two years, there were also 346 crashes.
According to their website, Durham School Services operates more than 16,300 school buses and serves more than 400 school districts in 32 states across the country.