May 25 (UPI) — The 77-year-old driver of a school bus that crashed in New Jersey last week faces vehicular homicide charges for the death of a teacher and student, officials said Thursday.
Prosecutors accused Hudy Muldrow Sr. of driving recklessly when he allegedly tried to use a police access point to make a U-turn on Highway 80 on May 17. A dump truck struck the bus, which carried 44 passengers, killing 51-year-old Jennifer Williamson, a teacher at East Brook Middle School, and 10-year-old Miranda Vargas. Forty-three people, including Muldrow and the dump truck driver, sustained injuries.
“The full extent of the non-fatal injuries has yet to be determined but range from minor to multiple serious and potentially life-threatening injuries,” an affidavit filed by state trooper Daniel Wojcik said.
Officials expect to take Muldrow to Morris County jail before a scheduled court appearance Friday. He faces up to 10 years in prison should he be convicted.
Muldrow had a history of tickets and license suspensions prior to the fatal crash.
The bus driver also had eight speeding tickets on record, as well as one for careless driving and a summons for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle in 2003.
Muldrow had his licensed restored on Jan. 3. He has no active points and has the appropriate commercial license to drive a school bus.
An attorney for the Vargas family, David Fried, filed a notice claim against Paramus and the Paramus School Board.
“His driving record raises a lot of questions and potential areas we have to explore, as well as the negligence in allowing him to drive children,” Fried said.
Williamson’s husband, Kevin Kennedy, said he was “in shock, devastated and totally crushed” by his wife’s death.
“My beautiful bride and I have been in total love every day of our lives since the day our eyes met,” Kennedy said in a statement.