Third child dies in school bus-train accident

Posted on March 30, 2000

A third child has died in the school bus-train accident that occurred early Tuesday, March 28, near Tennga, Ga. Amber Pritchett, 9, died Wednesday night at a Chattanooga, Tenn., hospital. Her school bus was plowed into by a 33-car freight train traveling an estimated 50 mph. The impact tore the bus’ body from the chassis and instantly killed two other children — Kayla Silvers, 6, and Daniel Pack, 9. There were seven students aboard the bus. According to the Associated Press, two of the four survivors were listed in critical condition Wednesday; the other two were in serious condition. The bus driver, 34-year-old Rhonda Cloer, was listed in fair condition. Federal investigators say information from a "black box" recorder indicated that the train’s engineer was blowing the whistle and applying the brakes as the train approached the unguarded grade crossing. Investigators are also examining a video surveillance system aboard the bus.

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