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Audio Slideshow: Floyd County bus crash

February 24, 2008 by Ron Garrison  
Filed under Audio Slideshow, Second Look, Slideshows

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Remembering the victims of the 1958 school bus crash in Floyd County that killed 27.

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74 Responses to “Audio Slideshow: Floyd County bus crash”
  1. Thelma Seals says:

    I still remember the day that happened– I was ten years old and a student at Elkhorn City Elementary School. It’s one of those things I will never forget, like were I was when Kennedy was shot and 9-11. I feel sorrow every time I pass that location on my trips back to the mountains. Your story touched my heart again for the families who lost so much. We will never forget.

  2. Carolyn Napier says:

    The pictures of the children’s sweet faces just made me cry. I hope talking about it helps some of the people. I just can’t imagine the depths of their pain and heartache. God bless you.

  3. Masten Childers says:

    I was 7 years old and attended Pikeville Elementary when this tragedy occurred. I remember it like it was only yesterday. It was horrible. Over the years I have made many friends from the Prestonsburg area. They are among the finest people I have ever known. I cannot imagine how the families of those kids could have ever made it without the closeness that is so unique to those of us from the mountains. The Herald has given its readers a caring reminder of what these people experienced and a further reminder of how lucky those of us are to have never had to bear such a loss. Certainly puts things in perspective.

  4. Aly Minch says:

    To think those kids could of had a great life. The number of kids that died is a large amount if you think about it i mean 27 kids died and 21 survived that is just unreal! I wish they would have not wrecked because that is a horrible tragedy the worst one i’ve ever heard of.May God bless them.everyone.

  5. I still remember that day as if it were yesterday. I was a junior at Prestonsburg High School. No words can ever tell what went on in PHS that day. We all, families and friends, lost so much. It’s a day and time in my life I will never forget.

  6. Monica says:

    Being from Prestonsburg, it’s something I grew up knowing, as it effected my Mom and her best friend. My mother was always on that bus, but for some unknown reason (only God knows), the bus driver drove past her and her cousin as they stood waiting for that bus that had such an awful destiny that February morning. They walked to school that morning. My Mom’s best friend was on the bus and was one of two of the last passengers to board before it went into the river. She did survive and had a daughter that became my best friend. My friend’s Mom never talks much about it, it’s just too painful. These poor children had no counselors then to aid them in thier grief like the kids have today. My mother said it was unbelievebly traumatic and everyone knew all, even the little ones. It was a very sad time and will always be a difficult memory for the community every anniversary. I’m so thankful my Mother had to walk to school that day, though it was a long and cold walk. I’m also thankful for those that survived and God Bless those that mourn their losses every February.

  7. Mary (McGinnis) Barkley says:

    My eyes are full of tears as I have just looked at the video of the bus crash. (The web is a wonderful communicator. I have seen the video here in Brazil!) I can remember like yesterday hearing the news. I graduated from PHS in 1952 and was away in Western Canada when the news of the crash came over the radio during the dinner-time news. My first concern was for my own little sister who lived at Sugar Loaf and rode a schoolbus. Was she on it? In those days one didn’t telephone crosscountry, but I phoned home that day and was relieved to know she was safe. BUT some of the children with whom she waited for the bus were gone, children of friends and brothers and sisters of other friends were gone. Yes, what a sad, sad day for Floyd County. Fifty years later we continue to remember and mourn their loss.

  8. Mary Pack Richmond says:

    Is it possible for me to have a copy of the Audio Slideshow:Floyd County Bus Crash (Feb.24,2008)? Little Jimmy Carey was my cousin and also the Cline child was a relative. Jimmy had just attended our Family Reunion before beginning his school year. His parents never completely recovered from this tragedy. Both parents James and Louise (Williamson) Carey have now deceased.

    I would like to show this video at our 52nd. consecutive annual “Pack-Meddings Family Reunion” scheduled for Paintsville Ramada Inn in August of this year.

    Also would like permission to show the video at our 7th. Annual East Kentucky Genealogy Conference, also scheduled for August at the Paintsville Ramada Inn.

    Please advise regarding this video.

    Sincerely,
    Mary Pack Richmond
    P.O.Box 215
    Paintsville,Ky. 41240
    606-789-4551
    marich45@bellsouth.net

  9. James says:

    I am a member of the Floyd County Emergency and Resce Squad, a direct result of this tragc accident.
    We are planning our 50 year celebration of the resuce squad. I am hoping to get a copy of this slide show to show at the 50 year.

    This is a very moving slide show for those of us that live in Floyd County and have to face this everyday.

    I feel so sad for the family and friends that went through thi tragedy. We can only pray that time can heal the lose they face everyday.

    I am proud to say that I am a memer of the rescue squad.

  10. Shirley Dick says:

    I have lived in this state my whole life but I did not know about this horrendous tragedy. I appreciate the Herald Leader for acknowledging the anniversary in such a fitting way. The video is heart wrenching. The girls are dressed much like my older sister who graduated in 1956. I have lost her and seeing their sweet little hair styles, sweaters and collars -much like the way she dressed at that time -made me weep.

    I am a veteran educator with 34 years working with students, teachers and parents. I just sobbed while reading the article and viewing the slideshow. I know, from many personal losses, that the hurt and pain does diminish in intensity over time or one could not survive. But the hurt never truly leaves the heart. This is evidenced by the comments of the people who were there and lived through it. God bless each family and friend of those sweet young people who never had a chance.

  11. Steve Nelson says:

    I was born and lived in Lexington but there is hardly a day that goes by that I do not think about my relatives and the good people in Floyd County Kentucky and the horrible bus accident that happened so many years ago. It still hurts just like the morning the news came across the radio on WVLK in Lexington. Those young people may be out of our sight but they are never far from our collective minds and hearts! Perhaps one day the very place that took so many innocent lives will be marked with a beautiful monumnet as a memorial to those who left us entirely too soon. After all, they were doing right by simply going to school when they were called home! Surely one day, we can find the will and the strength to honor them and their families with a beautiful monument bearing their names for all to visit and pay their respects at the very scene where they left us.

  12. Billy Johnson says:

    I just finished looking at the slideshow of the Floyd Co buswreck. I was only 5 years old at the time, but will never forget all the sorrow. Paulette and Sandy Cline were my cousins. My first grade teacher, a year later, was Mrs. Goble who was the mother of all 3 of the Goble kids. My uncle Donnie Laftery was best friends with the Jarrel boy and the Jarrel girl was his girlfriend. I lived in the same household with Donnie at the time, so I really remember all the pain and suffering. Also my uncle Tom Darby lost 3 relatives.
    I don’t know if anyone knows but that song by Ralph Stanley was pulled off of the radio following the disaster because of upsetting so many families.

  13. Carol (Mcginnis) Hall says:

    Oh how well I remember the day of the bus wreck and the many days/weeks/months and even years that followed. I knew 20 of the 27 of the kids— I was 11 yrs old and in the 6th grade as I went to Allen Grade school— getting on the bus at Sugar Loaf while 10 kids went to Prestonsburg from there and 7 of the 10 drown on that fateful day. The 2 little Cline girls had been my play mates. I still after all these years am fearful of muddy water. I feel for all the familes of all the children. I still have a scrap book that I made of all the newspaper clippings and pictures and all.

  14. Harriet Ann Sandige says:

    I was in the 5th grade, age 11 at Prestonsburg Elementary. My Mother and I stood by the river with our neighbors, doing our part, watching for any of the children that might be floating down the river. The memories never leave, they bring tears of for lost friends and the pain so many suffered.

  15. Christy Justice says:

    My grandmother was suppose to be on that bus but she missed it and boy am I glad I still feel sorry for those families and I know those kids are in Gods Playground they are in a better place now than we are

  16. Janelle Hall Conn says:

    The tragedy is stamped forever in the memory of so many people who were touched by the lives of these precious young people. Their faces burn into our hearts, and every Feb.28th is a remembrance of that fateful day. My dad, Troy Hall, was in Ohio picking up merchandise for his business at Allen when he heard the tragic news of a bus accident. Immediately he was gripped with fear. He parked his loaded truck, got out ,knelt beside the road and prayed for the students and for two of his children who he thought were on the bus. The annoucer had said the bus was travelling from the little town of Allen. Reentering his truck he made his way down through Ohio to Kentucky praying all the way. All telephone circuits were busy, and he didn’t know the fate of any of the students on the bus until he finally stopped a police officer and was told the identity of the bus. His two children were on a different bus. He is 89 years of age, but he ,like the rest of us, shed tears when we read the article in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday. My classmates were on that bus. I still miss them
    Thank you for remembering.

  17. Tara Jervis Boyd says:

    I was not even Born yet, it was far from my time. My Grandmother was living in Floyd County when this Happen. I have listen so many times of the story of what had happen that Day. I can see the paon in her eyes as she tell the Story. She tells of the pain of losing so many lifes that day. She tells me that Alot of those little children was Our family. After all these years, and before my time I can still share the pain with her. My heart goes out to the family of each and every person Effected by this. I too waould like to have a copy of this video. I would like to have a copy of anything people have over this Day. I want to share the Storys with my Children, to let them Know This Children that Lost their life will never be forgotten. Thank you for Remembering them Today…..

    Please Send Me a copy of things to deal with this Day. I waould Greatly apprection it……. Thanks
    Tara Jervis Boyd
    31a Cornett Hill
    Hazard Ky 41701

  18. R, M. says:

    I am 58 years old, and went to Prestonsburg Grade School. After all these years this tragedy leaves strong pictures in my mind. Wet cold weather, large crowds on the river bank, boats searching up and down the Big Sandy for days and days after this event. Our home was beside this river and many nights after the wreck large army search lights would shine through my window, as they would park on a bridge and move the light from one point to another on the river. This is what an 8 year old boy can recall; I can not even imagine what relatives and friends of those who died can. To quote and old song written and sung by Ralph Stanley and his late brother Carter “white dove will morn in sorrow the willow will hang its head”.

  19. Glenda says:

    I am from Wolfe County and don’t know any of the families involved in this terrible tragedy, but when I saw this I cried so hard.. this is so sad and my heart goes out to all those families.God bless them all.

  20. Trena Caudill says:

    My dad lived in Mcdowell at the time of the wreck but was related to alot of the kids on the bus and he has told me many stories of that day my heart goes out to the families of these children it was such a tradgedy that this happened lo lets all pray for the famlies that they God can ease their hearts in this time of remberance

  21. Dustyn Doyle says:

    I did know about the crash, even though I was born 40 some years later. I am a teenager at Fleming County High School (KY). And I don’t ride the bus, because I think that things like this could happen to me as it did those Elementary, Middle and High School children that lived in Floyd County.

    condolences. to the families that lost their children

  22. Mike Phillips says:

    I was in the 5th grade at Wheelwright Grade School. I remember my grandmother crying about the little girl who was a relative and wondering how much pain her parents must be feeling. It seems like it only happened a short time ago and it has been 50 years. The memories of the day are still with me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Phillips, what years did you go to that school, and if you were ther in the 40’s do you remember my Dad, Virgil Davidson Jr.

  23. Vera Hale says:

    My grandfather (Lloyd “Bus” Hale of David, KY) was a bus driver during this time in Floyd County and he helped to get these children out of the water. My grandmother (Dovie Hale) and father (James Lloyd Hale) talked many times about this accident. We still have a plague that was given to my grandfather for his assistance during this tragic accident.

    I can only imagine what these families went through, some losing more than one child. I am sure the people assisting also went through some very emotional times trying to get over such an awful accident.

    Prayers are with the families that went through this who are still trying to deal with their loss.

  24. Peg says:

    I drive bus, and in our district we have lost many chioldren to auto accudents and 2 who rearended a bus. The grief , I can only imagine multiplied 27 times, must be unbearable. My thoughts of this article will probably not be forgotten. And my prayers go out to those families.

  25. Brenda Dennis says:

    My mother’s people were from floyd county. friends and family still live there. this was a terrible loss to all. No one could possibly imagine the horror that befell them that fateful february mourn. i would like to obtain a copy of this slide show to keep. tell me how to obtain one. thank you

  26. I LOST BOTH OF MY FIRST COUSINS, ON THIS SCHOOL BUS WRECK. WHICH WAS KATIE CAROL&BUCKY RAY JARRELL. AND EVEN THOUGH I WASN’T BORNED WHEN THIS TRAGEDY HAPPENED, I AM 41YRS.OLD AND I SEEN HOW THAT THIS TRAGEDY AFFECTED MY AUNT BECKY AND UNCLE BILL, (KATIE’S AND BUCKY’S PARENTS) THRU OUT MY LIFE GROWING UP. I WOULD SEE THE TEARS THAT WAS SHED FROM AUNT BECKY AND UNCLE BILL, DUE TOO THE LOSS OF BOTH OF THEIR CHILDREN. AND I KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT TOO QUESTION GOD, BUT OFTEN I DID, WONDERING WHY AND HOW THIS COULD HAPPEN,. CAUSE I WAS PRACTICALLY RAISED BY MY AUNT BECKY&UNCLE BILL. THEY WERE LIKE THE ONLY PARENTS THAT I KNEW GROWING UP. AUNT BECKY IS THE ROLE MODEL OF WHAT A TRUE MOTHER IS. SHE ALWAYS SEEN THAT NOT ONLY MYSELF, BUT MY OTHER COUSINS THAT THEY RAISED AS WELL WERE TAKEN CARE OF AS IF WE WERE THEIR OWN CHILDREN. BUT NONE OF US KIDS COULD EVER REPLACE THE LOSS OF KATIE AND BUCKY. BUT STILL YET, THEY GAVE US THE LOVE AND GUIDANCE AND RAISING AS IF WE WERE THEIR OWN CHILDREN, AND GOD KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING WHEN HE BLESSED US ALL WITH AUNT BECKY AND UNCLE BILL IN OUR LIVES. AND WHEN UNCLE BILL TOOK ILL, ME AND MY HUSBAND AND OUR 2 SONS, WHICH WAS LIKE UNCLE BILL’S AND AUNT BECKY’S GRANDSONS, WERE BLESSED TOO HAVE BEEN ABLE TOO LIVE WITH THEM, TOO TAKE CARE OF UNCLE BILL.. AND THE EVENING THAT GOD WAS PREPARING UNCLE BILL TOO TAKE HIM HOME TOO HEAVEN, HE LOOKED UP AT THE SHELF ABOVE HIS BED, WHERE ALL THE KIDS PICTURES ARE, AND HE LOOKED RIGHT AT THE PICTURE OF HIMSELF AND AUNT BECKY AND KATIE&BUCKY RAY TOGETHER,. AND THEN HE TOOK HIS LAST BREATH. SO NOW EVEN THOUGH WE MISS HIM, WE KNOW THAT HE NO LONGER HAS TOO FEEL THE PAIN AND THE HEARTACHE OF NOT HAVING KATIE AND BUCKY RAY. HE IS WITH THEM RIGHT IN HEAVEN TODAY. AND ONE THING THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT UNCLE BILL WOULD ALWAYS TELL ME , “DON’T LET THIS YOUNGER GENERATION GROWING UP FORGET ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED ABOUT THE BUS WRECK” AND THAT IS WHEN HE HAD A BIG PICTURE MADE THAT HAD ALL THE CHILDRENS PICTURES ON IT, AND HE HANDED THEM OUT TOO EVERYONE HE WOULD COME IN CONTACT WITH., CAUSE HE SAID “ONE DAY I WILL BE GONE, AND I NEVER WANT ALL THESE CHILDREN THAT LOST THEIR LIVES TOO BE FORGOTTEN.” UNCLE BILL ONLY GOT TOO LIVE TOO SEE THE FIRST MEMORIAL MONUMENT BUILT AT JENNY WILEY, AND I KNOW THAT IF HE WAS HERE TODAY AND SEEN ALL THE THINGS THAT HAS BEEN DONE ABOUT THIS TRAGEDY, HE WOULD BE SO HAPPY. THERE IS NOT A DAY THAT GOES BY THAT WE DON’T THINK ABOUT UNCLE BILL, AND WE MISS HIM MORE THAN WORDS CAN EVER EXPLAIN.BUT WE KNOW THAT ONE DAY WE WILL GET TOO SEE HIM AGAIN AND WE WILL ALSO GET TOO SEE KATIE AND BUCKY RAY WHEN WE GET TOO WHERE THEY ARE AND THAT IS HEAVEN. MAY GOD BLESS ALL THAT SUFFERED THIS LOSS. BUT WE HAVE TOO REMEMBER THAT “EARTH’S LOSS IS HEAVEN’S GAIN”

  27. Peggy Pack McCarty says:

    At the time of the bus wreck I lived in Auxier on the river, later i moved to Wheelwright. I was 9 years old and I still remember it like it was yesterday, standing on the river bank watching the boats go up and down looking for those children. Over the years I have thought of this, when my children road a school bus and now my grandchildren. I can not imagine what those parents and grandparents went through. I watch my grandchildren get on their school bus laughing and joking with their friends and I think about those whose last sight of their children was the same scene , and it makes me want to give them an extra hug. I don’t think any one from Flyod County at that time will ever forget it.
    I thought this was a beautiful memorial to those children

  28. Danny Sprinkle says:

    I was 7 years old at the time of the crash but remember it yet today. My dad had been in the Navy so rushed to the scene to offer his services. It was a tragic day. Little did I know that just one month later, my dad would be killed in the coal mines. So then I really knew the anguish all were going through.
    I would really appreciate an oportunity to purchase a copy of this video.
    Please let me know how I can obtain one.

  29. Greene Tussey says:

    Thank you for this memorial which helps those of us who still remember that day at Prestonsburg High School. I was in Mae Kay Roberts algebra class when the news came to us about our classmates. I remember that Miss Roberts cried quite often over the small misfortunes of the students in her classes. She was a very sensitive person with a soft heart. Several students who were in her class rode bus 27 and she insisted on waiting for them to arrive. When she stepped into the hallway and came back crying, I and my fellow classmates knew immediately something bad had occurred but we had no idea of just how bad the news would turn out to be. Thank you.

  30. Juanita J Preece says:

    I WAS JUST 9YRS OLD WHEN THIS HAPPENED, MY BROTHER JUST 6,
    BUT I REMEMBER IT VERY CLEARLY.
    OUR MOM WAS SO SAD ABOUT IT AND CRIED.
    MY PRAYERS SINCE THEN HAVE BEEN WITH THOSE FAMILIES WHO
    LOST LOVED ONES.
    GOD BLESS!
    Thank You.

  31. jackie hall says:

    I WROTE THE BOOK PORTRAIT OF A DISASTER a pictorial history of the 1958 school bus disaster. I GAVE HEARLD LEADER REPORTER MUCH MATERIAL FOR THIS ARTICLE t O find out true fact filled story get FLOYD COUNTY TIMES DATED FEBRUARY20 and 27 2OO8 or BOOK PORTRAIT OF A DIASTER forty six years of relentless research resulted in this fact filled true soul shattering story of children and the horriable way they died’ JACKIE BRANHAM HALL @1 6o6 263 4027.

  32. Becky Wells says:

    My sister wrote the book Portrait Of A Disaster she has put almost fifty years into research doing this book reporters from different news papers have interviewed her and obtained materials, facts, and pictures from her then print their articles and take credit for her work in the past . But during the 50′th anniversary dedication the interviews with Wymt tv and The Floyd county times gave her the true and proper credit for her dedication and hard work. a big thumbs up to you both,But i cant say the same for the Heraldleader.

  33. It was my father, Carter Stanley, who wrote the song “No School Bus In Heaven” after this tragegy occurred all those years ago. Of course I wasn’t even born yet when it actually happened. My father expressed many of the events that happened around him back in those days in the words of his songs. He wrote and sang about everyday life. I believe he thought this catastrophic day should be remembered by those far and near and he vocalized it so it would live forever. I believe he wrote the song as a memorium to those who lost their young lives.
    I was sent this link by a fan of my late father’s and I wanted to share my feelings. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their dear children and to the bus driver’s family. I can’t imagine the pain they must have gone through. They say there is nothing worse for a parent than to lose a child. It is my fervent hope that God and time have eased their pain.

  34. Myron D. Compton says:

    What a wonderful comment left by Jeanie Stanley.
    I can only add that I was about 6 years old when this happened. I was born and raised in southern Indiana and also rode a small school bus to a one room country school. I remember having a copy of this song “No School Bus In Heaven”. I thought it was a great song and a great tribute to the families. The Stanley Brothers done a wonderful job. This school bus accident was a terrible thing that happened and I am so so sorry for the families.

  35. Sharlee Wright says:

    I’m a senior in college. I’m working with a summer documentary program. When i first learned of this tragedy it touched my heart so deeply. It’s a story i feel should be made into a documentary so that generations will remember and honor those lost and learn from this disaser. if anyone has information the’re willing to share with me or would like to talk about it please contact me

    my email address is sharsheska13@hotmail.com

    thank-you

  36. Sue Tracy says:

    I remember this horrible tragedy as if it were yesterday. I was only four years old, but it is still in my thoughts. Everytime I hear anything about it, I think about how many years it has been.I have newspapers of thirty years after, and from fifty years after as well. I will pass these to my own child whom I am very thankful for each and every day. The accident happened on the day of my grandmothers funeral. I remember my parents talking about it for years to come. I also remember hearing “No School Bus In Heaven” by Ralph Stanley on the radio.

  37. Randy Brown says:

    My mother and aunt both went to Prestonsburg High school at that time.Doris Ray and Melinda Sue Robinson.I know they lost many friends that day.I don’t think that was the bus they rode to school on.My aunt Doris died about 6 years ago.I think my mothers fear of the water is a direct result of that awful day many years ago.I can be contacted at redeagle371@hotmail.com.Id like a copy of this if possible.
    Thanks

  38. Mary Auxier--- says:

    I was listening to WPRT devotional program when the news of the bus wreck was given.( I thought that the bus had been to the school and unloaded the students by this time.) The thought came to my mind to call others to pray.
    Later I had several of the students in class at Prestonsburg Grade School.
    Having retired from teaching several years ago, I remember almost crying when I would see the busses pull out from school when on bus duty. One does not forget some things.
    I remember the huge spotlights which the U.S. Army or National Guard brought to help those who searched on the BigSandy River day and night.
    I remember the Rescue Squad from Greenville,Tenn., I think who arrived to search. From this the Floyd County Rescue Squad was formed, then others across the state.
    I remember the music on the radio, including Ernie Ford”s.
    May God bless the families and others who remember.
    I remember seeing Governor “Happy” Chandler’s big black car coming off the bridge at Emma when he was visiting EVERY home where a child was lost.

  39. Mary Auxier Hale says:

    I was listening to WPRT devotional program when the news of the bus wreck was given.( I thought that the bus had been to the school and unloaded the students by this time.) The thought came to my mind to call others to pray.
    Later I had several of the students in class at Prestonsburg Grade School.
    Having retired from teaching several years ago, I remember almost crying when I would see the busses pull out from school when on bus duty. One does not forget some things.
    I remember the huge spotlights which the U.S. Army or National Guard brought to help those who searched on the BigSandy River day and night.
    I remember the Rescue Squad from Greenville,Tenn., I think, who arrived to search. From this the Floyd County Rescue Squad was formed, then other squads across the state.
    I remember the music on the radio, including Ernie Ford’s songs.
    I remember seeing Governor “Happy” Chandler’s big black car coming off the bridge at Emma when he was visiting EVERY home where a child was lost.

    May God bless the families and others who remember.

  40. Charles Lynch says:

    This brings back a lot of unpleasant memories. I was a senior in high school at the time and a member of the Jackson National Guard unit. The unit was called to duty to assist in the search and we spent several days in the area searching the banks of the Big Sandy. My search group recovered one of the young girls and the memory of that has been with me my entire life. I still recall how nice the folks were who lived in the area of our search. To those folks who offered us food and were concerned with our comfort as we searched I now have the chance to say Thank You from the bottom of this old mans heart.

  41. Debbie Ranier says:

    I just watched the documentary about the 1958 bus crash at the Kentucky Theater in Lexington KY. Wonderful film. Very well done I must say. I was born in 1964 but was always reminded because my dear uncle Harry Bruno Ranier donated his time and equipement to pull the bus from the river. In the documentary it was stated Uncle Harry stood on the bank of the Big Sandy River while the bus was pulled from the water. He stayed in the area directly across the river night and day until the bus was finally found and pulled from the water. I grew up with Rhondetta Goble whose dear father found each and everyone of his children that perished in the crash. Rhondetta was a blessing to her parents born much later in life after the tragedy that killed all three of her siblings. Also I have always known Mrs. Allen who survived the crash and have always wondered if her personality may have been altered by this crash. She was always so reserved. Very nice dear person. My mother taught school with her. I so admire the survivors and the ones that perished trying to help others survive. Just imagine teenagers going back into the water to save their classmates or siblings…such a sacrifice. God Bless the survivors, the families and everyone involved in that horrific day!!! Thanks to the Floyd County Rescue Squad for they were created especially for this reason. As Tim Cooley says ” It will never happen again…not on our watch”. They have stayed strong all these years on donations alone. THANK YOU!!!

  42. Irene Moore says:

    Feb. 25th 2010

    I remember my Dad, telling us, when he got the news that, his brother Buck; had lost both his Grandchildren in the bus wreck[ Bucky and Katie Jarrell].
    The memory has been with me all these years, even though I was a very little girl, I can still recall everyone listening; to the news trying; to find out, all they could, about the accident,waiting and praying. This disaster, still burns in the memories of families , friends and all that heard of this horrible tragedy. I pray that God will touch the hearts of those who lost their loved ones, and let us’ cherish our loved ones’, count our Blessings, and Pray for one another and always giving THANKS, to GOD for everything……..

  43. K.Y says:

    This story brings tears to my eyes. Its really sad! I live not far from where the bus crashed. I didn’t learn about this until I was in the 6th grade. I’m now 17 & I just keep coming back to read the story of what happened. My older sister had family members on the bus that didn’t make it. It’s so sad to think about what all their families went through that day & all these years. I grew up in Prestonsburg Ky & I’ve always loved it here. My heart goes out to those people whos lives were lost that day! May God bless you & may you rest in peace!

  44. Teresa Bentley says:

    This story touched my heart. and the song by ralph stanely is so sad..i often view their pictuers and wondering what really happen so many lives lost..siblings watching their brother ,sister, cousins died.it couldnt have been any worst and the parents who lost their kids some lost them all that fatefull day…why?why?…..i know that i will keep them in my memory always heart go’s out to everyone who lost someone that day….they are with god they are beautifull angels flying over us with a big smile.

    icey roads and bad storms arent meant for people risking their lives..school boards and school system let that be a learning point

  45. KENNY says:

    I normally drive pass that little fateful spot everyday. I knew nobody on that bus, but it breaks my heart to drive by there. my heart goes out to the families who suffered in this tragedy. Just remember it is all in god’s hands, he has his children in his home waiting for thier families to come home to them. god bless all the families. like the lady said in one comment i read.. earth’s loss is heavans gain…..

  46. Marcia Brown Castro says:

    I was 10 years old when this happened. My Daddy grew up in Martin County and we lived in Toledo,Ohio. I remember him coming home from work and telling us how he had heard it on the news, and Mommy crying. About a year later I recall sitting on my Uncle’s front porch in Lawrence County and my cousins teaching my sister and I that Stanley Brothers song School Bus in Heaven.I cried because it was such a sad song. Fifty years later I still cry when I hear the song. I can not imagine the pain those parents went through. I hope that song gave them some peace, knowing their little children are now walking with Jesus on those streets of gold. I just hope there are some beautiful mountains there to remind them of their hills back home.

  47. ballroombaby says:

    My Dad and his two sisters rode that bus up until about 6 months before the accident, when they moved in to town and could walk to school. He was 7 years-old at the time. My Aunt’s best friend froze in the doorway, blocking the exit for other children.

    Having heard my Dad’s story since I was little, it never gets any easier when he retells it.

  48. Diana Crisp Ratliff says:

    My Dad, Eugene Crisp helped to find the bus and pulled children from the wreckage, My grandmother took her restaurant supplies and set them up on a flat bed truck and cooked for days to feed the voluteers.I was 6 years old , my Daddy would come home a cryand say to my Mother . Please dry her hair , after a bath, It’s looks like those little girls in that muddy water. It was such a horrible time . Everytime I pass that way , I think of those poor kids

  49. kemo hall. says:

    i had spent the night in flatgap.ky and was i my way back to my home in ashland.ky i was hitch hiking just outside of paintville a gentlemen picked me up and told me what had just happened. it was a cold winter morning i was 19-yrs old. i am now 74-yrs old but i remember this accident very well. thank you. kemo hall-ashland

  50. Penny Brewer says:

    I turned 6 years old June 16th of 1958. I lived at Christopher in Perry County. I can remember my grandparents who raised my twin sister Patti and I talking about the bus accident. My grandfather was a school teacher. He would not let us ride the school bus until we got into High School. The tragedy left many saddened over the years. The lost of the children is what I carry in my mind. We never know what tomorrow will bring. You just need to hold our children close to our hearts. Make everyday as if it will be their last. God only knows what the future will hold. My heart goes out to the many families that were struck by this horrible accident in one way or another. We need to keep on remembering them as time goes by. Love and Prayers

    • Anonymous says:

      my name is jo anne and at the time of this tragedy our family lived in simpson county ky. i was only 7 at the time, but i remember hearing the news on our big old radio and listening to the song that came out of it. all these years that accident and that song has always stuck with me. my heart goes out to the families that were effected on that tragic day. God bless them all.

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