UPDATE: Sixth Child Dies; Three Remain Critical; Two in Fair Condition; 25 Others Released in Chattanooga Bus Crash

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Speed has continued to be the primary factor behind a deadly bus crash that killed six elementary school children and left five in extremely critical condition one day before the Chattanooga Tennessee School closed for Thanksgiving Day vacation.

Johnthony Walker, 24, has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving. He is being held in lieu of $107,500.00 bond. he is likely to be charged with an additional count of vehicular homicide. 

The Monday crash, which sliced the bus in half down to the chassis, occurred on Talley Road, a curving country road, at approximately 3:30pm EST and was the only vehicle involved in the crash. Police have indicated Walker was driving at excessive speeds, clearly more than the 30mph posted limit and road conditions were not considered a factor. 

The medical conditions on the children in critical condition range from severe head, neck and spinal trauma. Names of the victims are being released by funeral providers and confirmed through family members. 

The children involved in the crash, were being transported home from Woodmere Elementary School, which where all they all attended. Woodmere houses kindergartners to fifth grades making the children ages five to ten.

Second Accident For Bus Driver

Walker has been the target of numerous complaints with one mother complaining repeatedly to the Board of Education, Durham School Services, the company who operates the buses, and the principal of the school that the children, one of whom died in the crash, were injured repeatedly when Walker drove them.

The complaints, in letters and phone calls reported in NBC.com were fromJasmine Mateen, and included multiple incidences of braking sharply so to cause the children to jerk forward and hit their heads, fear, intimidation, bullying and verbal abuse.

The principal went as far as to read the letter to Walker, in front of the children, who from all accounts shrugged his shoulders and said, "'So, I'd do it again."'

On the day of the crash, the same mother said two of her other daughters, both of whom sustained treatable injuries, said he had been speeding, jerking the steering wheel, and drinking on the job and ominously asked the children "'are you ready to die?"'.

The devastating and deadly crash is the second for Walker who had a property damage accident recently and records show his license had been suspended in 2014 for failure to show proof of insurance. Allegedly he has no other vehicle related accidents in Tennessee.

First Responders Arrive on the Scene

Chief of Chattanooga Police Fred Fletcher explain during a press conference posted on the micro-messaging platform Twitter the "a bus accident with multiple injuries is every public servants' worst nightmare."

First-responders which run the range of Fire, Police, EMS and medical officials "worked for many hours, using specialized tool and strategies to remove all children. Advanced technology used to process the scene. A warrant issued to remove black bus and to review the bus video or multiple video cameras," Fletcher added.

Officials described the scene as chaotic with 35 known victims, inside the bus, taking nearly two hours to extract the final victim from the vehicle.

An accident reenactment, shown on multiple media organizations, shows the bus traveling at a high rate of speed, swerving off the right side of the road, attempting to right itself, flipping, sliding on its side at a high rate of speed along the road, flipping again and slamming into a pole careening off the mailbox and driveway and slamming into a tree which sliced through the vehicle roof.

Surviving children are talking with media and have all said the driver walked away from the bus and "'just left us."' Walker's mother, Gwenevere Cook, confirmed her son had multiple communications with her after the crash explaining the initial crash and then the fatalities. She explained what had happened attributing the cause to "God's will."

Chief Fletcher has indicated more chargers may be brought against Walker as this case proceeds to the Grand Jury.  

Image courtesy of Chattanooga Fire Department posted on via Chattanooga Police Twitter. Chattanooga Fire Department/Handout Via Reuters.

This is a developing story.

Haute Tease

  • Beltway Insider: U.S Offers Nigeria Assistance; Ukraine Strikes Back; Benghazi Special Panel Convenes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, the government of Great Britain, leading politicians and citizens are voicing the need for urgency by the Nigerian government in addressing the middle of the night kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls.

     
  • PARANORMAN Review - A Spook Fest of Fun From LAIKA Productions and Focus Features

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    PARANORMAN, from Focus Features films and LAIKA Productions, brings to the screen a spooky festival of fun and hi-jinks in this ghoulish animated action adventure.

     
  • Sugarspun Drops New Single "Will it Be This Way Forever" October

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Indie Rock band Sugarspun, a five piece hailing from the North West of England, bring the sound of the 60's Faces and 90's Oasis and The Verve, right into the here and now with the upcoming October release.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Hearings Begin on Benghazi; Air Force Official in Sex Scandal; Disgraced Politician Wins; Sandy Hook to Be Razed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    High ranking Democrats have rallied around President Obama this week, accusing Republicans of political motivation by using the Benghazi hearings to discredit his leadership and handling of the September 11, 2012 terror attack.

     
  • San Diego Jazz Fest Features Traditional Jazz, Swing, Boogie Woogie, Rockabilly, Gospel, and Ragtime

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    San Diego, California, For Immedite Release - The San Diego Jazz Fest takes place November 26-November 30 and will feature over thirty bands and guest artists from across the U.S. playing for dancing and listening in seven venues.

     
  • Alpine High School Active Shooter Story Unfolds Differently; Officer Involved Shooting Wounds One

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A freshman girl in West Texas committed suicide with a single self-inflicted gunshot this week after wounding a fellow female student at Alpine High School after the directed incident escalated resulting in an officer involved shooting of a fellow first responder.

     
  • Mother’s Day Review - Solid, A Fun Entertaining Chick Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mother’s Day, from Open Road Films and Gulfstream Pictures, presents an enjoyable family dramedy, centering around the one day every year where the unsung hero of each family is celebrated and the decisions, situations and consequences are the realities of life.

     
  • Undercover Cops Break Facebook Rules To Track Protesters, Ensnare Criminals

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In the summer of 2015, as Memphis exploded with protests over the police killing of a 19-year-old man, activists began hearing on Facebook from someone called Bob Smith. The name was generic, and so was his profile picture: a Guy Fawkes mask, the symbol of anti-government dissent.

     
  • HL Tech: Top Ten TVs That Offer the Most for Your Money

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From sports to streaming movies, today's best and most innovative televisions bring the theater experience into the living room. They generate stunning colors, contrast, clarity, resolution and audio, and they're complemented by an impressive menu of features. They're also prohibitively expensive for many buyers.  

  • Celebrities Who Have Won the Most Emmys

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards are just around the corner. The ceremony will be hosted by Andy Samberg on Sept. 20 and broadcasted live from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Some of this year’s top shows include “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men” and “Orange is the New Black”—but as a TV buff, you already knew that.

     
  • Patriots Day Review – A Triumph! Powerful, Authentic, Challenging

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    PATRIOTS Day, from CBS Films and Lionsgate, brings to the screen a recreation of the Patriots Day Boston Marathon bombing, the stunning finish line trauma, a four-day manhunt, and the key players that made Boston residents and Americans feel a national pride.

     
  • HL Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Ziad Nakad Spring/Summer 2017 Couture Collection – Butterfly of Paradise

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ziad Nakad, for his second Couture collection presented at the Westin hotel in Paris, offers his own vision of a universal garden where butterflies, flowers, and the beauty of a perfect garden are the main symbols of his inspiration.

 

Login Form