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A 24-year-old Chattanooga, Tennessee bus driver, Johnthony Walker, has been arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide after an accident that took the lives of at least five elementary school children on Monday, Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said in a late night press conference.
According to the Chattanooga police, Walker was traveling “well above the posted speed limit of 30 mph,” then lost control of the bus he was driving, first swerving to the right, hitting an elevated driveway and a mailbox, then swerving to the left, running into a tree and telephone pole as the bus overturned and split in two.
Five children died and another six were hospitalized and being treated in a Chattanooga hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
Police say that the Talley Road, where the incident took place, was dry and clear, and point to speed as the contributing factor in the crash. The investigation is interviewing witnesses and utilizing information on the information box and video installed on the bus in an effort to find the full circumstances of the fatal crash.
Walker has been cooperative with police and has been charged with reckless endangerment and reckless driving in addition to the five counts of vehicular homicide.
Walker made a call to his mother and told her he had been in a “drastic accident,” before police took his phone away.
Walkers bail has been set at $107,500.