School Bus Driver is Charged with Manslaughter After Crash Kills Six in Tennessee

Our hearts go out to the families of the children who lost their lives in a school bus crash in Tennessee on the eve of Thanksgiving.

The bus with 35 children on board crashed into a tree in Chattanooga on Monday. Six people, including five children, lost their lives and others were injured.

Six more children were admitted to area hospitals but weren’t critically injured, according to media reports while and 20 others were treated and released from hospitals.

A report on Fox News said the school bus driver was arrested after this terrible crash and faces charges including five counts of vehicular homicide.

Johnthony Walker, 24, was also charged with reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said additional charges may follow.

The impact of the crash almost tore the school bus in two. Thirty-five students from kindergarten through fifth grade were on the school bus when it flipped on its side and wrapped around a tree. The bus was the only vehicle involved in the deadly crash, but investigators said the scene was complicated and covered a wide area.

Often a school authority can be held liable for the actions of a bus driver, particularly if there was a failure to properly vet an employee.

We have written at length about our concerns at accidents caused by school bus drivers in Virginia and elsewhere.

Less than a week ago, a school bus overturned in Norfolk. The driver lost control of the bus and it overturned on the I-64 on-ramp at Tidewater Drive and Thole Street on the way to Granby High School in Norfolk.

Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported to students in this crash. The 71-year-old school bus driver was charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain control of vehicle.

In October, five people were injured in Norfolk when a school bus hit a Hampton Roads Transit bus. The school bus did not have children on board at the time and the injured people were on the HRT bus.

Earlier this month, six people died in Baltimore when a school bus rear-ended a car and crashed into a Maryland Transit Administration bus

In the aftermath of the crash it emerged the driver of the Baltimore school bus should not have been at the wheel because his commercial driver's license was suspended two months earlier, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration said. The City of Baltimore has since ended its contract with a bus carrier it was using, The Baltimore Sun reported.

We trust the safety of our kids to school bus drivers but there have been numerous examples of dangerous, distracted and lethal driving.

If you or a loved one has been hurt due to the actions of a bus driver, we would like to hear from you. Call us at (757) 455-0077.

Bill O’Mara

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