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‘Certain calls that you will never forget:’ Huntsville rescuer revisits deadly Lee High School crash

Four teenagers were killed in the wreck.

Posted: Nov 20, 2019 6:41 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2019 9:30 PM

Wednesday marked the 13th anniversary since a school bus carrying dozens of kids plummeted off an I-565 overpass to the ground 30 feet below.

Four teenage girls lost their lives that day, and more than 30 other Lee High school students were injured.

Kenneth Burke, a supervisor with Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc., said he remembers responding to the crash that day.

"In all of my years of being an EMS there are certain calls that you will never forget," he said.

The school bus landed in a fenced-in area right off Church Street in Huntsville.

“I heard the call come out over the radio that a school bus had gone over the overpass," he said.

Burke said he was sitting in his office when he got the call to help, and when he arrived he saw just how bad it was.

“The bus was there on the ground and it was all mangled and torn up and there were kids that were attempting to exit the bus at the rear and on the side," he said. "Every one of them, as would be expected, were terrified, and I actually entered the bus when I first got on scene," he added.

Burke said he is still grateful more lives were not lost.

"One would think a bus falling nose-first for 30 feet, yes, we would think there would be more fatalities. In the greater sense, we were fortunate we didn't have more," he explained.

Burke said he thinks of the wreck every time he passes through the area, and knows it still sits heavy on the hearts of many others

"This is something they are never going to forget and this will be with them for the rest of their life," he added.

WAAY 31 talked with the father of Nicole Ford . She was 19 and a senior at Lee High School at the time of the crash.
She left behind a 4-year-old son, and her father shared with us he's raised his grandchild who is a senior at Lee High School this year.

WAAY 31 also talked with the mother of Tanesha Hill. She told us the family gathered at her grave site this evening to remember her. She said she buried her baby in the grave she herself was supposed to be buried in one day.

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