WJTV News Channel 12 - School bus stop signs put up after News Channel 11 investigates

School bus stop signs put up after News Channel 11 investigates safety concern

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CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - "I feel that.. Somebody's got to lose a life before somebody actually opens their eyes," Roy Hartley, who lives on Coal Chute Road said.

Call for help said to go unanswered, until now. In Carter County, a News Channel 11 investigation led to quick results for those that live near an unmarked bus stop, wedged in the curves of a dangerous section of Coal Chute Road.

Highway crews put up two road signs just hours ago, after News Channel 11 started looking into why signs weren't being added to alert drivers of a bus stop situated behind a blind curve. Our investigation began when father Roy Hartley reached out to News Channel 11 in the days following a speeding car that narrowly missed hitting his first grade daughter as she got off the bus.

Bus driver Marty Cain says he parks the safest distance away from the curve he can, to give cars time to slow and stop. But the bus stop still leaves little room for error if a car is going above, or even at the speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

"On the very first day of school I felt very uncomfortable dropping her off, because there's a 90 degree curve right by her house," Cain said. "About 2 months ago it was a clear day, sunny, dry roads and I approached the students home like I usually did 100 feet away from her driveway and the first grader got off the bus, and as she was in front of my school bus a pickup truck going about 40 45 miles an hour was coming around that curve. I slammed on my horn and leaned on it, and the driver did stop and missed the child by about six to eight feet. My stomach at that time just came up right to my throat. I noticed the mother was in the driveway, and I just can't imagine what was going through her mind," Cain said.

The very next day, Cain says he brought the dangers of that stop to the attention of the school bus garage manager, Jerry Nave.

"Since the road construction up Gap Creek, it's brought many different people from North Carolina, South Carolina, we've just seen Georgia tags, I mean people are not familiar with the road," Hartley explained, going on to say that the amount of cars that travel down Coal Shute Road has easily tripled since construction began.

Hartley reached out to local police after an accident just outside his house on Coal Chute Road, the bus garage, and highway department, whose superintendent says he didn't realize it was his responsibility to make school related road signs. He thought his role was simply to put the sign up when it was ready.

"You know let's just throw it over to this one, then this, and eventually they'll be quiet. But I'm not gonna be quiet. My kids are gonna be safe. One way or the other," Hartley told News Channel 11.

Two warnings were put up this afternoon, after the situation was clarified.

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