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The 1958 Bus Disaster: 50 Years Later - Part 2

The Floyd County School Bus Crash in 1958 put the national spotlight on eastern Kentucky.

Average citizens and groups from across the region helped in the rescue effort from the National Guard to the Red Cross.

Media outlets from all over covered the story.

Songs were written about it and for one woman it became something she could never get out of her mind.

Ernest Sparkman of WSGS was describing the scene as brave rescue crews continued to search for a bus that plunged into the Big Sandy River, killing 27 people.

Jackie Branham Hall always felt a close connection to the bus accident.

It began with a dream she had when she was seven years old.

“I dreamed that a school bus was falling from the sky,” Hall said.

That dream would continue over the next six years, but the last one she had before the accident was different. It was the only time the bus hit the ground.

“When the bus wrecked it was like something hitting me between the eyes that morning. That dream just come right back, it was weird,” Hall said.

For decades, Hall kept adding things to a scrapbook about the accident. She was hoping one day someone could use the information to write a book. It turns out she was the one who ended up writing it.

“There's a lot of tears been shed over this because as you study this, as you work with it and you hear these stories, it just tears you apart,” Hall said.

Hall's book was published in 2004...

“Whenever anyone picks that book up and reads their story and sees their pictures, they live again for a little while,” Hall said.

It's a story that moved many people, at least six songs were written about the tragedy.

Jackie Branham Hall is working on a second book and a screenplay about the disaster.

To contact Jackie Branham Hall, the author of "Portrait of a Disaster"... call her at 606-263-4027 or write her at 6609 Spurlock Road, Prestonsburg, KY 41653.


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