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School Bus Driver Convicted of Negligent Homicide in Crash that Killed 6 Children

A Tennessee man has been convicted of six counts of criminally negligent homicide for his role in a 2016 school bus crash that left six elementary school students dead.

Bus Driver Was on His Cell Phone When the Fatal Crash Occurred

According to CNN, Johnthony Walker was transporting 37 students from Woodmore Elementary School in Chattanooga, Tennessee when he lost control of the bus, causing it to flip over and crash into a tree. Six children between the ages of 6 and 10 were killed in the collision.

An investigation suggested Walker was traveling more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit and was distracted by his phone at the time of the incident. A colleague of Walker’s, Takiesha Nixon, said she was on the phone with Walker for about four minutes before the crash occurred, but hung up as soon as she learned Walker was driving.

Walker originally faced a total of 34 charges, including six counts of vehicular homicide, various assault charges, and charges relating to reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

Defense Claims “White Bus” Contributed to the Crash

As the prosecution pursued their case against Walker, the defense cited a mysterious white bus which was traveling in the opposite direction and veered into the same lane as Walker’s bus.

The defense claimed that the claims of the white bus were never properly investigated, with authorities not taking the alleged white bus into consideration when examining evidence at the scene or taking eye witnesses accounts.

Breakdown of the Jury’s Verdict

In the case of Johnthony Walker, the jury found the following:

  • Guilty on 6 counts of criminal negligent homicide
  • Guilty on 11 charges of reckless aggravated assault
  • Guilty on 7 charges of assault
  • Guilty of reckless endangerment
  • Guilty of reckless driving
  • Guilty of the use of a portable electronic device by a school driver
  • Not guilty on 6 counts of assault

Sentencing for Walker is currently scheduled for April 24.

Contact an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are available to respond to school bus accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. If your child was injured in a school bus accident, contact our offices – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends and we represent clients/victims all over the country.

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