LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A family is mourning after a deadly bus crash on Ballardsville Road near Hickory Forest Drive in Louisville.
The Jefferson County Coroner's Office said 32-year-old Shan'l Autumn Newberry was pronounced dead at the scene after her car crashed into the side of a Jefferson County Public School bus. JCPS said 14 students were also hospitalized with minor injuries.
Newberry’s family said she was the best friend, daughter and sister they could have asked for. In a statement, the family said her son was her favorite person in the entire world.
Neighbors said Tuesday’s crash was an accident waiting to happen. They said they are worried for their safety after hearing the crash and watching the aftermath.
"I was sitting here, and I heard a loud boom," Sameer Gard said. "There was no screech, there was no brakes."
Sameer and Geetika Gard's son left for school minutes before the crash. Every time they leave the neighborhood, they cross their fingers for safe travels.
"It's been always scary because traffic is coming from the opposite direction and we're worried about the safety of our children," Geetika Gard said.
According to the Kentucky State Police database, there have been at least five other collisions in the area since the start of the year.
"I think it's a 45 speed and people are going 60, 70, 80, not watching their speed,” Sameer Gard said.
The problem, Gard said, is that people speed, cannot see over hills and have several lanes of traffic to cross if they're turning onto Ballardsville Road out of one of the subdivisions.
"It just appears out of the blue and it's very hard to decide if we should be going or not going and then we have to look at the right-side traffic coming from Crestwood,” Geetika Gard said.
The Gards said the simple solution is a traffic light. They said neighbors have wanted one for years, but have not seen one come to fruition.
As cars take the road again, neighbors are begging for caution — for themselves and their kids.
"I was waiting for my son to come back yesterday and he came back at 3:30 p.m., and I just ran to him and hugged him and kiss him,” Geetika Gard said.
LMPD said there are several people who witnessed the crash but left before talking to police. Anyone who saw what happened is asked to contact LMPD at 574-LMPD (5673).
The LMPD Traffic Unit is investigating this incident.