Chattanooga Community Rallies a Year After Fatal Bus Crash

Nearly a year ago, a Woodmore Elementary school bus overturned and crashed on Talley Road in East Chattanooga, killing five children and sending twenty-three to the hospital. The November 2016 crash devastated the community. Ten months later, the community is still rallying together to overcome the recent tragedy.

Over the winter, several employees from Tennessee Valley Authority joined together to transform a storage room at Woodmore Elementary into a new and improved STEAM room. Dedicated to the exploration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, the new space is meant to enrich the curriculum. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Woodmore is hiring a new teacher who will use the space to teach STEAM subjects after Fall Break.

The TVA employees poured countless hours into clearing out, painting, and installing furniture into the new room. Taking place over several months, the $8,000 project was entirely funded by donations from TVA employees.

“We wanted to give back to the community to help them bounce back," one of the volunteers told the Times Free Press. "We can't imagine what they went through."

Tennessee Valley Authority was not the only local company to come through for the elementary school. Almost 100 realtors from Keller Williams in downtown Chattanooga raised $11,000 to donate to the school.

According to the Times Free Press, Keller Williams auctioned off a teddy bear for $500 to benefit Woodmore. They quickly raised another $7,000 from other bidders. To further increase the donations, Keller Williams agents continued to raise money from all around the country, ultimately reaching $11,000.