PRESTONSBURG — A filmmaker is committing to film the 51-year-old story of a school bus that crashed into a cold river in Eastern Kentucky and killed 27 people in one of the worst such accidents in the country.
Michael Crisp of Georgetown said he's searching for news footage from the Feb. 28, 1958, crash and the 22 survivors in hopes of answering what happened that morning.
"There are a lot of theories and conjecture," Crisp said.
The bus carrying 48 elementary and high school students went off the road, plunged down an embankment and into the swollen waters of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, where it was swept downstream and submerged.
In the first few minutes after the crash, 22 students escaped and made it safely out of the river. Twenty-six others and the bus driver drowned.
Crisp said the decision to make a documentary came after reading a newspaper story about the tragedy and hearing tales of the crash while visiting family in Floyd County.
"Whenever we'd get near the site of the crash my mom and others would tell stories about it," he said. "To an 8- or 9-year-old kid it was fascinating. Heck, it's fascinating now."
The film's working title is The Very Worst Thing. Crisp said he is working with videographer Andrew Moore and a small crew to record interviews with people who were on the bus and others whose lives were changed forever by the tragedy.