• Funeral for Chattanooga bus crash victim

    Funeral for Chattanooga bus crash victim

  • Police: No drugs or alcohol in bus driver's system

    Police: No drugs or alcohol in bus driver’s system

  • Gov. Bill Haslam on Chattanooga bus crash

    Gov. Bill Haslam on Chattanooga bus crash

  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on fatal school bus crash

    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on fatal school bus crash

  • Father discusses fatal Chattanooga crash

    Father discusses fatal Chattanooga crash

  • School bus removed from Chattanooga crash site

    School bus removed from Chattanooga crash site

  • Multiple fatalities in Chattanooga bus crash

    Multiple fatalities in Chattanooga bus crash

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Chattanooga is mourning.

Officers blocked side streets, some holding hands to their hearts as the miles-long procession made its way down Main Street.

People came out in front of businesses and homes to look on solemnly, wave or salute the horse-drawn hearse. One Chattanooga police officer stood holding his hat in front of a half-mast American flag.

Once again, this city is healing from a tragic loss of life that has thrust it into the national spotlight.

Cor’Dayja Jones’ funeral Saturday marked the first of six for the Woodmore Elementary School children who died on their way home from school when a bus driver, speeding around a corner, flipped the bus into a tree on Monday, authorities said. Several other children were injured and four remain hospitalized in critical condition.

The 24-year-old driver, Johnthony Walker, faces six vehicular homicide charges, and records released Friday showed students and administrators raised concerns about Walker’s driving prior to what was Walker’s second school bus crash this year.

The wreck was the third high-profile tragedy to strike the city in recent years. In June 2015, a tractor trailer slammed into traffic stopped for construction, killing six people — including two children. A month later on July 16, 2015, five servicemen were killed when a man sprayed bullets into two separate military facilities in the city.

“I feel like our community got stronger after that tragedy, and we came together in a way we never had before,” Pastor Kevin Wallace said Saturday. “And I sense that it’s happening again this time with the Woodmore accident.”

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Wallace held a candlelight vigil after last year’s shooting, and he also gave Cor’Dayja’s eulogy Saturday afternoon to more than 500 people. Cor’Dayja had been a member of the congregation at Redemption Point Church for the past five years, ever since the church began hosting inner-city children after school. She eventually started coming in early to help set up for other kids.

At Saturday’s funeral, 9-year-old Cor’Dayja is seen in photos dancing or posing in a neon tutu. Her go-to pose is with hands on hips, the toes of one foot pointed outward. She takes the pose in a lady bug costume and again with cowboy boots on.

“She sang with my two daughters every week and was an angel — a strong, quiet, caring young lady,” Wallace said. “She was the embodiment of what we want every child in this community to become.”