Carrollton bus crash effects still felt in Kentuckiana, around the country

CARROLLTON, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The small town of Carrollton is quiet this Mother's Day with the streets along the downtown area mostly empty. For many of those who live in the area, this Sunday is more than just a celebration of mothers. It's a reminder of one of the worst tragedies in Kentucky's recent history.

"The people, even though the years have passed, they haven't forgotten," Derek Craig, who has lived in the Carrollton area for the past three years, said. "It's very strong in their minds."

Twenty-nine years ago to this day, a group of 67 people, mostly children, riding a bus heading home to Radcliff, Ky. from King's Island were hit head-on by a drunk driver speeding the wrong way, setting the bus on fire and killing 27 people and injuring more than 30 others.

"It was just kind of overwhelming, the numbers, the sheer tragedy, the fact it could have been prevented," Craig said.

Craig wasn't in Carrollton during the crash, but he remembers seeing the news from afar in Ohio.

Derek Craig didn't live in Carrollton during the crash but remembers seeing the news from afar in Ohio.

"Obviously tragic. You hate to hear anything especially involving children of course," he said. "Any parent, I'm a parent myself, any parent that would have to receive news like that, it's going to take many, many people to hold them up."

In the aftermath of the crash, changes were made to increase school bus safety regulations and a national spotlight shined on the issue of drunk driving, spurring many to fight to prevent other tragedies like this from happening again.

"I think it's important that America remembers because I hate to say it, but every time we have a tragedy, it only makes everyone closer and I think people want to cling to those moments too," Craig said.

It's a tragedy that 29 years later can still be felt in this quiet town and around the country.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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