Last month’s deadly bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee was one of the deadliest school bus accidents in modern history. Six school aged children died during the crash and numerous others suffered injuries.
Johnthony Walker, the substitute school bus driver was widely believed to be responsible for the crash. Well, we now know that he was.
During the time of the crash, cameras on the bus showed that not only was Walker speeding (traveling at a speed of 50 – 52 miles per hour), but he was doing another activity that has already claimed numerous lives.
While driving a school bus full of children and speeding, Walker was also actively using his cell phone according to the cameras on the bus.
Studies have shown that using a cell phone’s screen while driving can distract a driver to the same dangerous levels as driving drunk.
According to a local media report, it was clear to investigators almost immediately that the driver must have been doing something wrong:
The most compelling information on Thursday came from Chattanooga traffic investigator, Joe Warren, who reviewed the tire marks and the surveillance video from the bus that Walker, 24, was driving. Warren said he has been reconstructing crash scenes for nearly 20 years.
“I knew right away that I was dealing with a bus that was going too fast,” Warren said.
The speed limit was only 30 mph on that curvy and narrow Talley Road. However, tire marks show Walker was going between 50 and 52 mph when he crashed the school bus into a telephone pole and then into a tree, killing six students and injuring the remaining 31 who were riding on the bus.
“State law is very specific when it comes to using cellphones when it comes to bus drivers. And once that first child is on the bus, whether it is in motion or not, the cellphone needs to be put away,” Warren said.
Based on the information presented to a Tennessee court, a judge ruled that a Grand Jury can begin considering charges against Walker.