There Were Warning Signs About The School Bus Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 5 Children, Left 6 Critical

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A school bus driver who caused a wreck Monday that killed five students and critically injured six others, had been "written up" by Woodmore Elementary school officials, sources said.

However, the private company that runs most Hamitlon County school routes allowed Johnthony Walker to continue driving.

Walker had been involved in another school bus wreck just two months ago, according to Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security records, quoted by Fox News.

The state records also show that his drivers license was suspended in 2014, due to failure to provide proof of insurance.

In the wreck on Sept. 20, Walker wrecked a school bus into another vehicle going around a curve.

The mother of three children who were in the wreck in Brainerd, including one who died, said her children told her that just before the wreck, Walker asked the children if they were "ready to die," according to KTLA TV.

The mother said she had made complaints about Walker, but he was left in place.

Walker is employed by Durham School Services, which issued this statement on its website:  "Our entire team at Durham School Services is devastated by the accident yesterday that tragically claimed the lives of Chattanooga students. We are working with Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County School District to investigate. We also have additional team members arriving in Chattanooga today to provide support. We have offered to provide counseling to students and families of Hamilton County, as well as our employees. We will provide all further updates in coordination with the Chattanooga Police Department and the District."

County school officials referred all questions about the bus driver to Durham, saying he is not a county school employee.

The county school board a number of years ago opted to move from owner/operators to a private contractor.  Some owner/operators remain, but their numbers are dwindling.


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