Friday, February 29, 2008

A Kentucky Tragedy Remembered

Senator Johnny Ray Turner rose to the floor of the Senate to ask passage of a resolution remembering the 50th anniversary of the America's worst school bus crash. In 1958, 48 children from Prestonsburg and Floyd County got on a bus that would never arrive at their school. No one knows all the details but the bus came down a hill hitting a tow truck and then crashed into a river.

An estimated 500 members of the Kentucky National Guard would spend weeks trying to recover the bodies of the missing. 26 lives were lost that day while 22 young boys and girls would survive.

Having taken the opportunity today to read many of the accounts of this horrendous accident I learned that many of the survivors chose never to attend school again. For some it took weeks to have the courage to get back on a bus. There were parents who lost all their children in the river that day. has a full account of the incident if you want to read further. My thanks to Gary for sharing his picture. Gary has a website paying tribute to old country music in which he includes a song that was written about the crash by W.C. Burchett and performed by Ralph Bowman.

There are many stories that have come from this crash. It is a haunting story about a small community that did not have rescue squad or the ability to respond quickly with the equipment that was needed. There were many young hero's who swam back and forth to save their friends and family before the bus finally submerged under water. One website list the area around the riverbank as one the most haunted locations in the world.

Today, Kentucky remembers.

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