UPDATE: Driver charged with improper backing following school bus crash; parents of students involved speaking out


5:46 p.m. UPDATE: UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn (WJHL)- Parents of students involved in a Unicoi County bus crash Monday morning are speaking out about what happened.

Linda Carrillo’s two children ride the bus every morning to Unicoi County High School.

When the two buses collided Monday morning, Carrillo says she got a call from her daughter as soon as it happened.

“All of a sudden I just heard people screaming, ‘Bus, bus, bus’,” said Christian Carrillo.

“She was crying, ‘Mama the bus crashed. My shoulder hurts. It popped. Please come get me now. Please come get me now.’ As a mom, you’re immediately worried. The kids seem to be alright, minor injuries, and like I said I know Unicoi County is going to address this,” said Carrillo.

Carrillo took her daughter to the hospital and she was released later in the day with a sprained shoulder.

Joe Buckles spoke with New Channel 11 saying his daughter was taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with abdominal bruising.

3:12 p.m. UPDATE: UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report, one of the school bus drivers involved in the accident Monday morning has been charged with improper backing.

29-year-old William C. Willis has been charged with improper backing. There were 29 students onboard his bus at the time of the crash, of which six experienced minor injuries, according to THP.

According to the THP report, 10 students were on the other bus at the time of the crash.

According to Superintendent of Schools John English, Willis will not be driving school buses until further notice.

12:34p.m. UPDATE– Unicoi County Director of Schools John English said in a release that all six students taken to the hospital following Monday morning’s bus crash “have been released with no reported injuries.”

“Unicoi County Schools had two buses involved in an accident earlier this morning on Highway 107. The buses were stopped to exchange some students when one bus backed into the other.

Six students were taken to the hospital following the incident, and all have been released with no reported injuries.”

John English, Unicoi County Director of Schools

THP is also investigating the crash.


UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Multiple students were taken to the hospital on Monday morning following a bus crash in Unicoi County.

Unicoi County Director of Schools John English told News Channel 11 there was a bus crash involving two of the school district’s buses at a turnaround on Highway 107.

According to English, some students were complaining of soreness following the crash and were transported to an area hospital to be checked out.

The crash occurred on the 400 block of Highway 107.

According to Unicoi County Schools Transportation Supervisor Tommy Clouse, six students were transported to the hospital after the buses were stopped to swap some students and one backed into the other.

Clouse said the buses received very minor damage.

Of the children transported, two were taken by their parents and the rescue squad transported four.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned with News Channel 11 online and on-air for updates.

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