MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The daycare that owns the bus that ran over and killed a six-year-old boy on Monday, November 21, spoke with abc24.com about the accident.
Anthony Scott, Jr., was killed in the parking lot of Oakshire Elementary School in Whitehaven. He was hit by a Pee Wee Wisdom Learning Center bus. According to police, the boy was walking in the parking lot, when the bus turned a corner and hit him.
The driver was 67-year-old Victor Hardy. Evelyn Farley has lived next door to him since the 1970's. She was shocked to find out he was the man behind the wheel.
"He's very religious," Farley tells abc24.com. "He'll help you any way he can. You couldn't meet a better a person."
Hardy is employed by Pee Wee Wisdom Learning Center, the same day care that left a child in a hot van in 1999. The child died.
On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, when abc24.com approached the center, we were turned away. But Whitehaven resident and concerned mother and grandmother, Beverly Dixon, wanted answers from the Pee Wee staff.
"Disaster after disaster," she says, "it's sort of hard to face the community now that this has happened."
She went inside the daycare and demanded the center's long time director speak with us. Center director, Kim Phillips, complied. Phillips has been in charge of the daycare for more than 12 years. She had tears in her eyes while talking with abc24.com.
"An accident is just what it was," she says, "an accident. We are extremely sorry for that family. Our heart goes out to the mother and that whole family, as well as the staff and community. Everybody's hurting. It's very painful."
Phillips wouldn't say how long Hardy's been employed or discuss his future with the company.
"He hasn't been charged with anything," she says. "We're just concerned about the family and we're remorseful. The family is in our prayers, as well as the community. And we hope the community is prayerful for us as we go through this. It's tough."
It's especially tough for those who knew first grader Anthony Scott. For Phyllis Wilson, he was more than just the boy next door.
"It's been hard on the community," Wilson says. "That little boy, that was a tragic death and its hard. He was a good little boy. He'll be well missed."
MCS provided grief counselors for teachers and students at Oakshire on Tuesday, and for as long as they're needed.
The Memphis City Schools Foundation set up a memorial fund in Scott's name, to assist the family with funeral arrangements. Donations can be made at any First Tennessee Bank location.