Driver in fatal Tennessee school bus crash found guilty

Johnthony Walker, 24, driver of the Chattanooga, Tenn., school bus in which five children died in a crash Monday, was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and other charges. Photo courtesy of Chattanooga Police Department

March 2 (UPI) — A Tennessee jury found former school bus driver Johnthony Walker guilty Thursday for the bus crash that killed six elementary students in 2016.

The panel convicted Walker on 27 of the 33 charges leveled against him, including six counts of negligent homicide, 11 counts of reckless aggravated assault, seven counts of assault, one count of reckless endangerment, one count of reckless driving and one count of use of a portable device by a school bus driver.

He was acquitted of six counts of assault.

Walker was driving the bus with 37 children from Woodmore Elementary School on Nov. 21, 2016, when it crashed. Authorities said he deviated from the normal route and the bus was going too fast when it hit a mailbox, a utility pole and then the tree. The speed limit was 30 mph.

Blood tests conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation showed that Walker had no drugs or alcohol in his system.

Thirty-one other children were on the bus and survived the crash.

Walker’s sentencing was scheduled for April 24.


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