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December 30, 2009  |   Comments (5)   |   Post a comment

Film on Prestonsburg bus crash to premiere


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The Very Worst Thing, a documentary on the deadly 1958 school bus crash in Prestonsburg, Ky., features interviews with people affected by the tragedy and original pictures from the scene, including this one.

The Very Worst Thing, a documentary on the deadly 1958 school bus crash in Prestonsburg, Ky., features interviews with people affected by the tragedy and original pictures from the scene, including this one.

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. — A documentary on one of the worst school bus crashes in U.S. history will premiere in February in Prestonsburg, where the tragedy took place more than 50 years ago.

In the 1958 accident, 27 students and their bus driver were killed when the bus struck a wrecker truck and plunged into the Big Sandy River. Twenty-two children were able to escape, but the others drowned in the raging, icy floodwaters.

The bus was swept downstream and submerged. It took rescue workers two days to find and remove it from the river.

The documentary, The Very Worst Thing, features interviews with people affected by the tragedy, including a survivor of the accident, friends and family of several victims, and emergency personnel who responded. The film also includes original pictures from the scene of the accident.

“It’s a story about finding strength during the most difficult of circumstances,” the documentary’s Website says.

The Very Worst Thing is slated to appear nationally at film festivals beginning in spring 2010.

The film’s trailer can be viewed below. For more information, go to www.theveryworstthing.com. For tickets to the Feb. 19 premiere, click here.



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My dad worked in the Volunteer Rescue Squad in Morristown, TN when this happened and they went up to help in the search and recovery. I remember my dad telling us stories about it and he had an old Brownie projector where they recorded it and them dragging the river. I'm not sure of the accuracy of this but I remember being told that a lot of bodies were found in the tree limbs of a fallen tree in the river.....When a crane lifted it out of the water. My dad received a Citation of Outstanding Service Award that was signed by all the parents. That award was something he was proud of and still hangs in his house to this day....Even after his death.

Dale    |    Apr 23, 2014 06:24 PM

My Grandmother had the Ball's Cafe across the street from the river and they fed the national guard their meals, that summer I was 11 and I remember all the sadness of the days to come..

Cheryl Ball    |    Sep 02, 2013 12:18 PM

I have seen this movie on The very worst thing.And coming from a School Bus Driver myself.I couldn't even imagine something like that happening.May God Bless you all for everything you have done.God will Bless everyone that was invovled.

Rebecca    |    Jun 03, 2011 05:20 PM

so glad someone is showing what happen in 1958 about the bus wreck i was a junior is prestonsburg at that time and was best frieds with martha otis burchett at the time and still am i know it was hard on both of us and it was hard for her to come back and finish high school we lost two of our other good fried, joyce McAtee, and Emogene Darby i still see Martha every chance i get but will never forget.

nadine hammonds, lykins    |    Sep 08, 2010 08:57 AM

My grandfather was a diver in the recovery of the children from the river. I have the citation signed by the parents and recovery committee. I've heard my family talking about him speaking of the tragedy, but he has long since passed away.

kerry artis    |    Jan 21, 2010 08:12 AM

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