Chattanooga bus driver kills six children in crash


Dominique Basil, Bucky's Editor

Tragedy struck the town of Chattanooga, Tennessee due to the carelessness of bus driver Johnthony Walker. In Mid-November, after school at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon, Walker, a Woodmore Elementary School bus driver, was driving well over the 30 mph speed limit and hit the curb, causing the bus to flip and wrap around a tree. The accident caused the deaths of six children, the youngest being only six years old, and injured at least a dozen others. According to the “NY Post,” Walker asked the children moments before the crash, “Are you all ready to die?” This was not Walker’s first speeding infraction. In September, Walker had a minor accident with no injuries, due to crossing into the oncoming traffic lane. He had no criminal record, but had multiple speeding tickets as well as complaints from the parents of the children.
Not only was Walker constantly speeding, but he was also said to be verbally abusive towards the students. Parents and students had previously reported to higher authorities Walker’s poor treatment of the students. The students would complain that he would try to injure them while driving. A staff member from the school recalled the driver once yelled at the students, telling them he “didn’t care about them.” These students and their parents feared this driver weeks before the incident. Walker is now charged with six counts of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. The children were unable to speak after the shocking accident. Now families are left to grieve over this horrible event that could have been prevented. The Chattanooga community is mourning together for the victims lost in the tragedy. Chattanooga Police Chief, Fred Fletcher, called the tragic accident, “every public safety professional’s worst nightmare” (NPR Morning Edition).