According to CNN, 24-year-old bus driver Johnthany Walker is being charged with multiple counts of vehicular homicide following a school bus crash that killed six children and injured a dozen more. Walker’s record shows a previous accident and many complaints regarding his driving, filed by both students and parents.
The bus was carrying children from kindergarten to fifth grade on Talley Road in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when it crashed into a tree at more than 30 miles per hour.
The crash, killing six children, happened while the driver was taking the bus down an unapproved route around 3 pm near Woodmore Elementary.
The driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, is cooperating with the ongoing investigation. Walker’s blood tested negative for drugs or alcohol.
The principle expressed concern about Walker’s driving twice in the weeks preceding the crash.
Walker had a previous incident two months prior to the fatal crash, in which he sideswiped a car. There were no injuries in this incident.
Parents and students both expressed their concern for Walker’s driving in the months leading up to the accident. One parent wrote a letter claiming that Walker was cursing at students and intentionally slamming on the bus’s brakes, throwing children from their seats. The same parent then threatened to “beat the kid” himself if improvements were not made.
Six students reported to school employees that Walker was swerving recklessly with the intention of making them fall.
Johnthany Walker also filed complaints to officials claiming that the students would refuse to heed his safety instructions and were rude and disrespectful to him.
School-transportation related crashes make up 0.4% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes from 2004-2013.
1,344 people were killed in school-transportation related accidents from 2004 to 2013, which is an average of 134 fatalities per year. 327 of the 1,344 people killed were school age children.