Vigil held for students killed in Chattanooga bus crash - WSMV Channel 4

Vigil held for students killed in Chattanooga bus crash

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Balloons were released into the sky after Tuesday night's vigil. (WSMV) Balloons were released into the sky after Tuesday night's vigil. (WSMV)
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WSMV) -

Dozens of balloons were released into the Chattanooga sky on Tuesday night as dozens of people poured out of New Monumental Baptist Church.

For almost two hours Tuesday night, friends, family and community members worshiped in chorus to remember the victims of a deadly bus crash on Monday.

“It was very moving and heartbreaking also,” said one woman whose son went to school at Woodmore Elementary last year.

“It was intense and uplifting at the same time,” neighbor Sam Quattrochia added.

The sounds of clapping and praising could be heard from the street, in sharp contrast to what witnesses saw a day before.

“It was something unreal,” said a woman who said she was one of the first to come upon the grisly scene on Talley Road. “Very devastating. You wouldn’t want to see that. I hope we don’t ever have to see that again.”

Breena Ross said she worked with Johnthony Walker, the bus driver in the fatal crash, at his second job at Amazon.

“He was working two jobs because he had a son to take care of,” Ross said. “The picture that you paint of someone who’d do something like this is not the vibe I got from him. Very shocking."

“He was more of a socially awkward kind of guy,” Ross added. “But he was respectable. Just a very nice person.”

Ross said Walker often came to work tired.

“All the time, and also he was on a skateboard,” she said. “He skateboarded from Amazon to where he lived.”

Ross said Walker never mentioned he drove a school bus.

“I don’t think that this was an act of him doing this on purpose. I think this is just a horrific accident and a mistake,” Ross said.

Amazon confirmed to Channel 4 that Walker was last scheduled to work there this past Saturday.

Copyright 2016 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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