Butch Jones, Vols players visit Chattanooga bus crash victims, families

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WATE) – University of Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones traveled to Chattanooga this week to visit families and victims of the Woodmore Elementary bus crash.

At least five children died in the bus crash Monday and twelve children remain in the hospital.

Jones visited Erlanger’s Children’s Hospital with his son Alex, and players Alvin Kamara, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Derek Barnett.

“Talking to these parents, seeing how brave they are and seeing it first hand makes you feel helpless as an individual,” said Jones. “It’s something I will always cherish and I will always remember. It’s the least that we can do.”

MORE: Driver in fatal Chattanooga school bus crash charged with vehicular homicide

He said at a news conference Wednesday that many of the children were excited to see the team.

“You walk into a room and there is a little girl who can’t talk, but she sees you and her eyes light up. She’s in a cast and she’s giving you a thumbs up,” said Jones. “That’s something I’ll remember and I know our players will remember for a lifetime.”

The team plans to honor the victims and their families during the halftime of the upcoming spring football game.

“When you are parent of three and have a son the same age as them, it puts things into perspective about life and how fragile life is,” said Jones.

Click here for complete coverage of the Chattanooga school bus crash.