On Monday, November 21, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a school bus carrying dozens of elementary school children crashed into a tree. As a result of the crash, five young children lost their lives. Six children are hospitalized in an intensive care unit, and six more children are hospitalized but in stable conditions. The children ranged from kindergarten to fourth grade.
Twenty-four year old Johnthony Walker, the driver of the school bus, was arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide. Authorities believe that speed likely was the key factor in causing the accident. Testimony by witnesses to the accident, as well applicable physical evidence, indicates that Mr. Walker was greatly exceeding the thirty miles-per-hour speed limit. Additional charges could come in the future depending on what the investigation reveals.
The National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Chattanooga on the morning of Tuesday, November 22, 2016. There are a number of questions that the Board will attempt to answer, including the history of the driver and the history of the driver’s employer, Durham School Services.
While it is still early, it seems reasonable to believe that litigation will be coming in the future arising out of this tragic and, by all accounts, preventable incident. Durham School Services may be liable for the acts of its driver, Mr. Walker.
If you or anyone you know has been injured on a bus or any other type of common carrier, contact the experienced attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.