Deadly school bus crash in Meigs County prompts rush of volunteers to donate blood

Photo by Allison Brewster
The Volunteer state has its name for a reason.

That's what CEO of Blood Assurance JB Gaskins said in response to the outpouring of community support last night.

After a deadly school bus crash in Meigs County Tuesday night, Blood Assurance extended their normal business hours until 10pm.

Gaskins told us that right now, there is a nationwide blood supply shortage, and Tennessee is not immune.

He said on a normal day, Blood Assurance hopes to have 400 to 420 donations. During this shortage, he says they're seeing closer to the 300 people. Last night's call to action, brought 634 people to various blood assurance locations.

Gaskins said that many people donated for the first time last night, and even hospital employee's showed up late to donate.

We had the hospital's employees, all of our hospitals in the local area... Memorial Erlanger and Parkridge employees, I saw them, I saw them in scrubs. We had one surgeon that I know personally at Erlanger, that sat here in line and donated. And I said, don't they need you in surgery ? He goes, 'we got that covered. You guys need blood.'

Gaskins also said that they hope to host a blood drive in Meigs County at the elementary school for those teachers and parents that want to honor the families and victims by donating.

Blood Assurance will be open until 10pm on Wednesday, October 28th at these locations:

  • Downtown Chattanooga
  • Gunbarrel
  • Hixson
  • Cleveland
  • Fort Oglethorpe, GA
  • Dalton, GA

Appointments are required. You can scheduled online at, text BAGIVE to 999777 or call 800-962-0628.

Gaskins told us that they will reevaluate extending their hours for Thursday, Friday, Saturday as well.