Police: Driver in Chattanooga school bus crash was speeding

FILE PHOTO Flowers, signs and stuffed animals make up a makeshift memorial outside Woodmore Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The school bus driven by Johnthony Walker, 24, crashed while transporting children home from the school Monday, killing at least five students. Walker was arrested Monday and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide including reckless driving and reckless endangerment, police said. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – The Latest on the deadly Chattanooga school bus crash (all times local):

9:30 a.m. – Police estimate the 24-year-old driver in a school bus crash that killed six children was driving about 20 mph above the 30 mph speed limit.

Officer Joe Warren of the Chattanooga Police Department’s traffic division revealed the estimation in Hamilton County court on Thursday. Warren also said Walker was using his cellphone, but did not specify at what point.

Walker was in Hamilton County court on five counts of vehicular homicide. He’ also charged with reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Police say a sixth charge of vehicular homicide will be added.

Thursday’s hearing will determine whether Walker’s case will head to a grand jury.

Federal authorities say Walker left the designated bus route Nov. 21 when he wrecked on a curvy road while carrying 37 children.

Walker’s attorney, Amanda Dunn, has said she expects him to plead not guilty if he’s indicted.

Several family members of the deceased children were in the audience. Some were crying when Warren discussed the bus’s speed.

Police said two children remain in the hospital after the crash.

___

3 a.m. – The 24-year-old driver in a school bus crash that killed six children last month in Tennessee is appearing in court.

Johnthony Walker’s preliminary hearing will take place Thursday morning in Hamilton County court. He’s charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Police say a sixth charge of vehicular homicide will be added.

Thursday’s hearing will determine whether Walker’s case will head to a grand jury.

Federal authorities say Walker left the designated bus route Nov. 21 when he wrecked on a curvy road while carrying 37 children. Authorities suspect Walker was speeding.

Walker’s attorney, Amanda Dunn, has said she expects him to plead not guilty if he’s indicted.

 

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