One Minute to Live

February 28th, 1958 at 8:10 AM the nation is shocked and horrified at the news coming from a little community called Knotley Hollow. Three miles south of Prestonburg, KY. on US 23, a school bus loaded with forty-eight children ages ranging from 8-17 struck a wrecker tow truck in the rear. It rolled across the highway, struck a legally parked car, and kept rolling to the edge of a nearby cliff and disappeared.

Floyd County school bus No. 27 driven by 27-year-old John Alex Dorssett rolled down an eighty-three-foot hill and plunged into the Big Sandy River. Due to melting snows and recent rain at the time the river was thirty feet deep.

In less than one minute the 12,000-pound school bus with forty-eight screaming, terrified children make a frantic dash for the rear exit. Twenty-two children survived, Twenty-six and the driver lost their lives in the worst school bus disaster in U.S. History.

Words and pictures tell the story of the worst unsolved school bus disaster of the 20th century. Coming soon “Washed Away” the first fact filled written story of school bus No. 27 and its last run.


--Jackie Branham Hall