One day after a fatal bus crash took the life of first grader Arlana Hayes, the parent pick-up lot at Parkwood Elementary School was full.
Aliesha Tharpe's son was on the bus with Arlana when it turned over. She says when she found out about the accident, she was terrified for her child.
"It's just quiet. You don't feel anything because you don't know anything and it's nothing but worry. That's all I could explain was worry," said Tharpe.
She says she's thankful her son only suffered minor injuries, but the accident shook him up emotionally.
"He was just crying and crying and crying," said Tharpe. "The first thing that came out his mouth was, 'Can I be a car rider now?'"
One of those car riders Tuesday afternoon was Parkwood elementary schooler Gavin. His mom's boyfriend Brad Dixon picked him up from school and had a message for school leaders.
"The Houston County school board should discuss about how they should put proper restraint systems in the school buses," said Dixon.
Dorothy Hall is a school bus driver in Jones County. She says she's been driving buses for almost 20 years. She says seat belts could be useful, at least for children in second grade or younger.
"For the little guys, seat belts could help," she said.
She says they'd help keep kids in their seats and not standing up or moving around.
It's not yet certain what factors contributed to Monday's crash, but for Aleshia Tharpe, one thing is clear.
"It could have been any one of our kids on that bus that we send to school every day and expect to come home the same way they left every day," she said.
And on Monday, that didn't happen.
Georgia law does not require seatbelts in all buses. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, four to six children are killed in school bus accidents across the country each year.
The NHTSA says school buses are still the safest vehicle on the road.
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