Chattanooga Bus Crash: Six students in intensive care after fatal crash

Photo Credit: Chattanooga Police Department (Walker) and WJTV (lights)
Photo Credit: Chattanooga Police Department (Walker) and WJTV (lights)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – The Latest on the deadly school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee (all times local):

9:10 a.m. – Kirk Kelly, the interim superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, says there are six students in intensive care Tuesday morning and six others still hospitalized after a school bus crash in Chattanooga that killed five children.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke says the city is in mourning.

The bus driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, was arrested and has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, along with reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Thirty-five students from kindergarten through fifth grade were on board Monday afternoon when the bus flipped onto its side and wrapped around a tree.

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8:05 a.m. – According to an arrest affidavit, a school bus driver was going at a high speed when the bus crashed, killing five students and injuring more than 20 others.

The affidavit, which was posted online by Chattanooga station WTVC, says driver Johnthony Walker was driving well above the posted speed limit of 30 mph Monday afternoon when the bus left the narrow, winding road and eventually struck a tree.

Walker was arrested and has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, along with reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

The affidavit says the charges were brought against Walker because of the reckless nature of his driving combined with his high rate of speed. Walker’s bond was set at $107,500.

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7:25 a.m. – The parent of two of the children who were on a school bus that crashed in Chattanooga, killing at least five children, says he sometimes saw the bus driver going faster than he should have.

In an interview that aired Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Craig Harris said his daughter and stepson were on the bus. He says the two children were in pain and in shock after the Monday afternoon crash but were doing better Tuesday morning.

The school bus driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, was arrested and has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, along with reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Thirty-five students from kindergarten through fifth grade were on board when the bus flipped onto its side and wrapped around a tree.

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3:30 a.m. – The driver of an elementary school bus that crashed in Chattanooga, killing at least five children, has been arrested and faces charges including vehicular homicide.

Calling the Monday afternoon crash “every public safety professional’s worst nightmare,” Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher told an overnight news conference that 24-year-old bus driver Johnthony Walker was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide. Walker was also charged with reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Fletcher said earlier that investigators were looking at speed “very, very strongly” as a factor in the crash.

Police said overnight that five children were killed in the crash. Earlier in the day, Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston told news outlets the crash killed six. The Associated Press wasn’t immediately able to reach officials early Tuesday to clarify the discrepancy.

 

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