KNOXVILLE - Sharon Glasper knew the next couple of weeks would be tough. Dec. 2 marks two years since her seven-year-old daughter, Seraya, was one of three people killed in a school bus crash.
Then, she learned about the school bus crash in Chattanooga that killed five children, ages Kindergarten through fourth grade, on Monday. She said it has made her grief even worse.
“When I first seen it, I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it. No sleep at all,” Glasper said. “We’re reliving 2014, Dec. 2.
Glasper said she has barely been able to stop the tears from flowing after following the news reports.
The police report says the driver, Johnthony Walker, 24, was speeding. Police arrested him and charged him with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
Sharon plans to travel to Chattanooga to provide any support she can to the grieving families. She remembers the advice she was given after her daughter's death: to stay strong, take it one day at a time and walk in faith. Advice, she says, that has carried her through these last two years.
“I can’t ease their (the victims’ families) pain, I can feel their pain. Hopefully my words of encouragement can lift them through this. I know exactly what they’re going through,” Glasper said.
Glasper also added she found comfort in the days and weeks that followed losing her daughter in the cards, donations and support she received from around the world.
“It felt like you had people behind you. It felt like you had a community that cared,” Glasper said. “Every little bit counts. I don’t care if it’s a card, a basket, a dollar. Everything counts. And Chattanooga needs it right now. They need Knoxville’s support.”
As much as Glasper has been able to heal, she says she is still angry that the man driving her daughter’s bus was texting and driving and that the driver in Chattanooga was speeding, according to police.
She wants to see more regulations put into place at the local, state and federal levels when it comes to bus safety including seat belts on buses and more stringent background checks for drivers.
“You ask yourself why? What is it going to take? How many more bus accidents?” she said.
(© 2016 WBIR)