Chantel Sanders was killed in a tragic accident with a cement truck Tuesday morning.
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - MATA identifies the bus driver killed in a collision with a cement truck Tuesday morning as Chantel Sanders.
According to MATA's safety department's preliminary report, witnesses, and police reports, the cement truck was driving onto the loop from South Parkway entering I-240 when it lost control on the ramp, flipped over, and hit the bus. The bus then hit a concrete embankment.
Sanders died on the scene after being ejected from the bus and pinned underneath.
Shuntail Taylor was one of several drivers who stopped their vehicles and ran toward the mangled bus and cement truck.
"I was crying. I was in tears," she said.
Minister Theauddrey Hall also witnessed the accident.
"Immediately, I jumped out of my truck. I ran over to the scene and I did what I can only know to do, which is pray for her. I laid my hands on her and prayed for her and I went over to the dump truck driver and did the same thing for him as well."
Minister Hall says upon impact the bus driver was thrown from her vehicle and somehow landed under her bus.
"Well it was a tragic thing to see with my own eyes and experience it," Hall added.
Witnesses say the crash is something they will never forget.
"She couldn't stop," said Taylor. "She wasn't able to stop by the time she wanted to stop. It was too late for her to stop."
MATA released the following statement about the accident, asking the community to pray for Sanders and her family:
It is with deep sadness that we report the death of MATAplus Bus Operator Chantel Sanders. We express our deepest condolences to her family and close friends, and ask all Memphians to please keep them in their thoughts and prayers. - William Hudson, MATA president and general manager
Sanders started working for MATA in 2005. She leaves behind two sons, a grandchild, and her mother.
MATA is creating an account at a local bank and will make a contribution to the account to help the family during this difficult time.
The condition of the cement truck driver is not available. There were no passengers on the MATA bus at the time of the crash.
The southbound lanes of I-240 at South Parkway have since been reopened.
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