Students blame dangerous walk to school on bus overcrowding

Students walk to school Monday morning along I-55.
Students walk to school Monday morning along I-55.

Drivers along a Memphis interstate highway have noticed a scary sight since Memphis City Schools went back into session: students walking to school along the side of the road.  Many drivers have reported seeing the students to Action News 5, usually walking along the northbound side of I-55, just south of the Tennessee Welcome Center.

It didn't take long for reporter George Brown to find students walking along the highway Monday morning.  The students attend Walker Middle School, and all said they walk to school so they won't be late. The interstate is a short cut.

Busses are assigned to where the students live along Millbranch, but the busses are often packed. The students said that's one reason they're walking.

"It's too crowded," one student said. "Sometimes they kick people off the bus. Then we have to walk."
Nearby resident Fred Sluder says he has witnessed this happening for two years.

"I called the school board a couple of times and nobody did anything," he said.     Sluder worries about the students' safety.

Sluder said he worries about the students' safety, and he hopes a change will be made before a serious incident occurs..

"There's a bad accident waiting to happen, and all it takes is a Memphis driver to wipe out half of them."

A spokesperson for Memphis City Schools said Monday the system checked both buses on the students' route and neither was overcrowded.  However, they did send an extra bus today to Walker Middle to help with any potential overcrowding problems.