Victim from Crash Replays Tragic Events

By: Courtney Lassiter Email
By: Courtney Lassiter Email

The bus was providing transportation for The Jackson-Hamilton-Hendricks family reunion which took place in Niagara Falls.

The bus reportedly left Alabama last week, stayed in Niagara Falls for the last several days and was on it's way back to Alabama on June 25, 2007.

One family member tells us they have a family reunion every ten years.

We spoke to Carlos Davis who said it was his first reunion, but it won't be his last.

"The bus, the back of the bus lifted up and everybody kinda fell forward," Davis explained.

On impact, some of Davis' family was thrown out of the bus.

"My cousin was sitting in front of the bus and was thrown off and we seen her all bent up on those walls - we knew then she wasn't alive," explained Davis, as he refered to 71-year-old Carriebell Walton. Walton was the only one to lose her life in the accident.

"We tried to talk to her, but she was pretty much gone instantly," Davis said. After he realized his own injuries were minor, he tried to help.

"It was just chaotic. Everybody's hurt - people with broken ankles. The first words that came out of my mouth was, 'Mom, Mom.' I was trying to make sure my aunts and sister - I was just trying to make sure they were okay," Davis said. "The bus driver was thrown 150 feet away from the bus."

Davis said one of his cousins talked with the bus driver while he was still conscious.

"He said he was trying to avoid something in the road," Davis explained.

Although Kentucky State Police have already ruled in a preliminary investigation that the driver fell asleep at the wheel, Davis said he spoke with the driver about his extensive driving background prior to the accident.

"I felt real comfortable with the guy," Davis explained. "He's been doing it a long time - a lot of these road trips."

Davis doesn't blame the driver for the death of his cousin. He said when it's time, it's simply time.

"She is in better place. At least she didn't suffer," Davis said, as he bowed his head speaking of Walton.

Davis also told us he'd like the family to be together during this stressful time, but some have been flown to Vanderbilt - others are in TJ Sampson, The Medical Center and Greenview.

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