Victims recount bus accident that killed three - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Victims recount bus accident that killed three

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

ACKERMAN, MS (WMC-TV) - One week after he survived a bus crash that killed three people, Devonte Lee recounted the nightmare end to an otherwise normal day.

"Everybody was trying to see who was OK.  Everybody was in shock, hugging everybody and crying.  That's basically all we could do," said Lee.

Two buses were traveling home to Ackerman, Mississippi from Oxford, where a group of seniors had visited Ole Miss.

"We were traveling the campus.  It was rather fun, just a regular day," said Lee.  "I just heard a big boom.  That's all I heard."

Investigators said an 18-wheeler driven by Gary Bailey side-swiped one bus and slammed head-on into the other.  The crash killed Bailey, Steven Moss, a football coach and history teacher at Ackerman High, and Phyllis Graham, a special education teacher at Ackerman High.

"I love her very much," said bus crash victim Danielle Jones.  "She was like a mother, friend and everything to me.  And coach Moss too."

Jones was on the first bus hit along with Lee.

"I was asleep actually when the trailer hit my bus," said Lee.  "I just opened my eyes and I was on the floor.  There was glass everywhere."

Moss and Graham were on the bus hit head on.

"I was scared, cold, back hurting," said Jones.  "Everything.  Just sad."

"I was just in shock," said Lee.  "All I could do was cry."

Students said it will be some time before their school and the small town of 1,800 heals.

"Everybody is trying to stay strong," said Lee.  "Just keep praying and go on with your life."

Seventeen out of the 60 students on the bus and one teacher had to be taken to the hospital.  Only one student remained hospitalized Wednesday.

A public memorial service for Moss and Graham was held this past weekend.

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