After a devastating school bus wreck in Chattanooga, Tennessee, left multiple children dead, bus safety has been at the front of parents' minds. How can we prevent a tragedy like this from happening again?
The crash took place on Monday, November 21. The driver, Johnthony Walker, lost control of the bus before flipping it over and wrapping the vehicle around a tree. It's estimated that he was going well over the 30 mph speed limit. Although it's been determined that drugs and alcohol were not a factor, Walker is being charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and vehicular homicide. This accident has horrific implications for the nature of bus safety nationwide.
When first repsonders arrived to the scene, it was immediately clear that there had been fatalities. It took them two hours to remove all the children from the bus. Five were pronounced dead on the scene and several more were transferred to ICU.
According to the children, Walker sped up the bus before asking them, "Is everyone here ready to die?" One parent admitted that her son had complained about him speeding before.
Johnthony Walker, 24, charged w/ 5 counts vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment & reckless driving in Talley Rd school bus crash. pic.twitter.com/9ZTIpXUZNl— Chattanooga Police (@ChattanoogaPD) November 22, 2016
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher called the accident "every public safety professional's worst nightmare." But could it have been avoided?
Some reports suggest that speeding is a real problem for school bus drivers across the country. The culprit? Not completing their routes on time.