As I mentioneded in the column Barack Obama’s Mea Culpa Shake Shake Shake, I have some associations of my own to add to the improbable battery of likenesses that enveloped the Lee High School bus murders. However, be not confused because I offer no mea culpa of my own, because I have none, and wouldn’t want to have any. I have seen other barbaric rituals, or acts of domestic terrorism if it seems a more apropos description, and it does, and declare the same disclaimer. There are those who say, “there is no in between” to which I say ignorant morons can believe what they will. There are gray areas recognized that are both Biblical, and by law. Either way, my conscience is clean.
As it so happens I have occasion to travel on my vehicular bicycle on Church Street in downtown Huntsville from time to time. On the particular day of the Lee Bus crash, it so happened that I was indeed on my bike and headed north. My usual route is to take the sidewalk, and for a number of reasons I usually take the sidewalk on the west side of Church St. as opposed to that on the other side which I have referred to as “The Cannon Ball Run.” My choice is really just a matter of convenience and safety as I avoid riding in traffic when I can, especially on more heavily traveled roads.
It is interesting to note, however, that “The Cannon Ball Run” is a fairly short length of sidewalk, maybe 50 yards, that terminates completely on the north end where I was standing when I took the photo in that article – the entire segment is in the photo. There aren’t any additional sidewalks on that side of the street even as it crosses Pratt Ave. to the north. It also terminates at Cleveland Ave. in front of the Huntsville Transportation Bus Station where headed south it would run into the small rail-yard and roadway too narrow to accommodate the sidewalk, lest they tear down the Historic Huntsville Depot – which isn’t likely to happen.
That brings on some more extraneous discussion, which explains why I chose to write these articles at this time. In fact, I had been planning to take the additional photos for a couple of months because the City of Huntsville is now doing the preliminary work with underground cable and drainage in preparation to divert Church St. to cross Pratt slightly farther to the east, and probably to widen it by two lanes. I don’t know exactly, but I assume that “The Cannon Ball Run” may be destroyed as the widening occurs. Then, when Ricky McCarver got his Ass Whoopin’ at the Transportation Bus Station, it seemed the right time to put all the improbable likenesses together.
So, as I say, I was in fact traveling north on Church St. on that day. I approached the overpasses without any unusual observations, and pedaled on passing directly under the ramp where the ill-fated bus was to be. After I passed from under that ramp, I went about 15 yards and heard a very loud, and very unusual, BOOM! It was so unusual and so loud that I stopped to look around, and then I actually turned around and headed back south in the direction where I thought the noise had come from. After turning around, I looked to the east side of the street where The Sherman Concrete company is located. I also looked to the west, but there were two or three buildings blocking what would have been my view of the school bus that had just hit the ground. One of those buildings was The Fraternal Club mentioned in the article Obama’s Mea Culpa. As it was, I just figured that the noise had come from Sherman Concrete where they are engaged in heavy duty activities that include loading those large cement trucks with the spinning turbines full of concrete on the back-end. It wasn’t hard for me to imagine that something had happened over there, and so just feet from being able to see the bus, and maybe render aide or call 911, I turned back north and headed on my way.
It was only about twenty minutes before I was headed back in that direction where I of course discovered a sea of flashing lights that included firetrucks, ambulances, police, and the rescue squad. Church St. was shut down to any two way traffic, and while I can often circumnavigate road closures on a bike, this was a situation where it was impossible. The accident was fresh, and first responders were still figuring out what happened and tending to the victims – some of which may still have been on the bus at this point. And so in order for me to continue my journey south, and frankly to get a better vantage point to see exactly what did happen, I had to go back to Pratt and head a block east and take the Interstate ramp to get back around to Church St.
When I did get back around to that side I was able to see the scene much better, and of course there were more first responders than you could count, which is to say any good-Samaritans would only be in the way. There were several emergency vehicles up under the bridge near the bus. The scene was oddly quiet, really, with several “islands” of people hovering around individual victims which included paramedics rendering first aide, and police attempting to ease the shock. Some were just sitting there, apparently shaken but not hurt, just trying to regain composure. Some were standing, milling about, with cell-phones in their ears, apparently talking to loved ones and family. There was also clutter strewn about that seemed to include untended school books, notebooks, backpacks, and papers. At one point, a woman from the Huntsville Convention and Visitors Bureau, located immediately across the street in the Transportation Bus Station building, came out rolling a hand truck with three or four cases of bottled water. Being the journalist that I am, I found myself quite chagrined that I didn’t have an adequate camera with me. After a few minutes, I did leave to get a camera. Before I left, though, I saw ambulances leaving and what I thought must be the coroner’s hearse leaving the scene – I assumed with the victim(s) killed on the site.
After I had time to add it all up, I came to the conclusion that the few seconds it took the bus to cross that ramp, climb the wall, and then to fall to the ground, and the few seconds it took me to travel the 15 yards or so before I heard the boom, must have been just about the same. In short, I was literally under that ramp as the school bus passed over.
© 2016 – Jim Casey
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The four young ladies who have died as a result of what ultimately was an act of domestic terrorism are: Christine Collier, Nichole Ford, Tanisha Hill, and Krystal McCrary.
REVISION (2014.06.07): It should be noted that State of Alabama DOT officials have never explained publicly why they removed EVERY gate from ALL fenced areas under the elevated portions of I565 in Huntsville, from Oakwood Ave. to Jordan Lane, three months before the Lee Bus Massacre. The removal of the gate on Church Street did facilitate fast access to the bus crash and the victims, however, prescience seems to be indicated.
There is, however, substantial evidence that this event was deliberately orchestrated to place a spotlight on the Lee High School Bus conspiracy massacre that occurred near this location in 2006, and is part of a conspiracy inspired and orchestrated by the recently announced seditious caliphate lead by Connecticut Governor Daniel P. Malloy, and US President Barack Obama. In short, this event is a conspiracy and a premeditated act of domestic terrorism by definition.
In fact, in spite of the fact that McCarver is not a rookie, he looks an awful lot like both William Eric Freeman and Danny Golden, both Huntsville cops that got themselves killed largely with their own stupidity. What did McCarver do wrong? Plenty. First, like the two rookies mentioned, McCarver apparently acted impetuously. He knew he was responding to a situation where there had already been violence, he could see that John Lee Bullard was twice his size, and yet he went ahead and confronted Bullard without any backup what-so-ever. In fact, other bus riders had to utilize the radio in McCarver’s squad car to call for assistance. How stupid is that?
Never underestimate the sense of humor of city planners… except, this sidewalk was deliberately planned and constructed before the Lee High Bus massacre occurred. The intended walkway runs along Church Street in front of the City Transportation Bus Terminal, underneath the interstate ramps, and immediately adjacent to the point of impact of the Lee Bus crash.
Unlike The Cannon Ball Run, which almost certainly indicates prescient knowledge by city planners on some level (of the impending Lee High Bus Massacre) this street was probably named before the massacre was orchestrated… maybe. Unfortunately, it does appear that the reflective concept ultimately provided inspiration to extend the event.
After reviewing all the information available, it turns out that the current Huntsville City Transportation Bus Station is built immediately on top of the original Huntsville Train Shops that were built around 1860. In fact, it seems highly likely that the digital time and temperature display located in the center of the bus terminal awning, is just about exactly in the center of the original turntable location. The point of impact of the Lee High School Bus, when it fell from the sky like a bomb, is also marked on these maps. Check it out.
At the time, I thought it odd that he would suddenly make a very deliberate effort to reach out and shake hands with what I assume to be a secret service agent. Could be a county detective, but even still, it seemed out of character to me. Either way, it seemed he was posing for my benefit, which might bring on some secondary possibilities that would explain his particularly magnanimous behavior – for a hack photographer and a shade tree website builder like myself.