2016 Chattanooga school bus crash

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Chattanooga school bus crash
Chattanooga, TN (31070581571).jpg
NTSB investigators and the damaged bus
Details
Date November 21, 2016
Location Chattanooga, Tennessee
Statistics
Bus School bus
Passengers 35
Deaths 6 (1 later)
Injuries 23 (6 critical)

Coordinates: 35°01′27″N 85°14′05″W / 35.02417°N 85.23472°W / 35.02417; -85.23472

In the afternoon of November 21, 2016, a school bus in Chattanooga, Tennessee, rolled over onto its passenger side and became wrapped around a tree. There were fatalities and injuries. The incident took place in the city's Brainerd neighborhood on Talley Road, which officials described as a "narrow, winding road". The bus, operated by Durham School Services,[1] was transporting children from Woodmore Elementary School.[2][3]

The bus was transporting 37 children. Five of the children died at the scene of the crash. 23 children were hospitalized, six of them in critical condition. A sixth child died two days later.[1][2][4][5]

Investigation[edit]

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but officials believe that the speed of the bus might have been a contributing factor. On the day after the crash, a spokesman for the Chattanooga police department reported that drugs and alcohol were not factors. According to CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann, the mother of three children on the bus, including one who died, stated that her surviving children told her that Walker asked if they were "ready to die" immediately before the crash. Chattanooga police disputed the accuracy of this claim.[5][6]

Chattanooga Officers testified during the 2016 hearing that the school bus traveled between 48 and 52 mph, in a 30 mph zone. Students had previously complained about Walker's quality of driving and the private company that he was employed under, Durham School Services, had a history of traffic accidents in Tennessee.[7]

Legal proceedings[edit]

NTSB briefing

Johnthony K. Walker, the driver, was arrested and charged with six counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.[2][4] On March 1, 2018, Walker was convicted of six counts of criminally negligent homicide, 11 counts of reckless aggravated assault, seven counts of assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and using his phone.[8] In addition a Hamilton County Criminal Court jury convicted Walker of lesser charges for the crash. He was sentenced to four years in prison, but went free on bail pending an appeal. In June 2018, while still free on bail pending an appeal of the bus crash charges, Walker was arrested for raping a 14-year-old girl at a home where he was staying.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sterling, Joe; Simon, Darran (November 21, 2016). "6 dead in Tennessee school bus crash". cnn.com. Cable News Network. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Hayden, Michael Edison; Gallagher, J.J.; Liddy, Tom; Cook, Jeffrey (November 22, 2016). "Kids Who Died in Chattanooga School Bus Crash Include 3 Fourth-Graders". abcnews.go.com. ABC News Internet Ventures. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Nicholson, Ken. "Driver charged in deadly Talley Road school bus crash". wrcbtv.com. WRCB-TV. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  4. ^ a b (staff writer) (November 21, 2016). "Bus driver charged with vehicular manslaughter in Chattanooga bus crash". wbir.com. WBIR-TV. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Associated Press (November 23, 2016). "Drugs, alcohol not involved in bus crash; 6th child dies". krqe.com. LIN Television. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  6. ^ (staff writer) (November 22, 2016). "Driver Asked Kids 'Are You Ready to Die' Before Crashing Bus in Chattanooga". detroit.cbslocal.com. CBS Local Media. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  7. ^ "Deadly Chattanooga school bus crash: What to know as trial gets underway". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  8. ^ "Bus driver found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in crash that killed 6 kids". wbir.com. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  9. ^ "Johnthony K. Walker, driver in fatal Chattanooga bus crash, charged in rape in Nashville". Retrieved June 16, 2018.