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3 children from same family were on school bus during wreck

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Photo: Chattanooga Fire Department/Twitter

CHATTANOOGA — Doctors at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga said they had over 800 family members at the hospital Monday after the horrific bus crash that killed five children and injured dozens more.

One of those families had three children on that bus.

Robert Smith said he was in disbelief after his mother texted him about what had happened. It wasn’t until he got to the hospital that he realized just how serious the situation was.

“And I saw how many people were there I was like, oh my gosh, it’s probably pretty serious,” Smith said.

It was pretty serious for his 10-year-old brother, David Smith.

“He just had glass in his head, and they did a bunch of x-rays to make sure his hand wasn’t broken because he was cut,” Robert Smith said.

But David had other concerns on his mind.

“He was pretty calm, but the thing that got me was when he asked was my sister still alive?” Robert Smith said.

That was a question the whole family needed to know.

“Because we wasn’t sure if she was alive or anything that was going on. So we went and saw my sister upstairs, you know, and I couldn’t stop my tears from coming down because how beat up her head was,” Robert Smith said.

Kaylynn Harris’ head had been hurt, but not her spirit.

“She was pretty playful,” Robert Smith said. “That kind of brightened up my day.”

But things are worse for his 7-year-old niece, Nire-Yanna Fortson.

“They are trying to keep her asleep to deal with all the pain because she’s in a big deal of pain,” Robert Smith said.

The little girl had an artery cut in her arm. It may take several operations to fix.

The family is going through a tough time, but consider themselves lucky as others are grieving the loss of their children.

“That’s one of those things that I don’t know why and I’m not going to question why. I’m just going to be happy and grateful that my three siblings made it,” Robert Smith said.

Kaylynn and David are both out of the hospital now. Nire-Yanna is still in the ICU.

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