A 24-year-old Johnthony Walker was charged with multiple counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving, Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher told CNN late Monday night. He is considered INNOCENT until proven guilty.
The bus that Walker was driving first hit the trash can then hit crashed and wrapped around a tree Monday afternoon, and five children died at the scene. The sixth child died at the hospital.
One of the children in the bus who survived the accident said Walker was speeding. The child said:
“He was going real fast and he hit a garbage bag,” the boy said. “And we then hit a mailbox, then we flipped over and hit a tree real hard.”
Police believe he also drove recklessly at the time of the crash.
There were 35 children on the school bus. Twenty-three of the children were taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Parents were seen at the scene crying while others heaved a sigh of relief when they saw their kids alive.
Of the five children confirmed dead after the Monday afternoon bus crash, three were fourth-graders at Woodmore Elementary School, one was a first-grader and one was a kindergartner, according to Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent for Hamilton County Schools. Six students remain hospitalized in the intensive care unit, and six are in regular rooms at the hospital, Kelly said.
Investigation into the cause of the accident is still ongoing.