Sixth child dies after Chattanooga bus crash; NTSB says bus not on designated route

Bruce Garner/Chattanooga Fire Department photo via Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP
Bruce Garner/Chattanooga Fire Department photo via Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Latest on the Chattanooga school bus crash that killed five children (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Chattanooga police say a sixth child has died from a school bus crash.

A tweet from the police department Wednesday evening said the agency had received confirmation of the death.

Police say the bus was traveling too fast when it veered off a narrow, winding road and crashed into a tree Monday afternoon. The driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, has been arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide.

The police department’s tweet did not give the child’s name or age.

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5:30 p.m.

Federal investigators say that the site of a school bus crash that killed five children was not on the designated route.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher A. Hart says it’s unclear why driver Johnthony Walker had taken the bus down Talley Road in Chattanooga. Investigators also don’t know whether he had taken the same route before.

Hart says the NTSB is bringing in a specialist to analyze video and audio recordings made on interior cameras that were damaged in Monday’s wreck. Investigators are facing similar challenges in retrieving speed and braking information from the engine control module that has been removed from the bus.

Left: Booking photo for Johnthony Walker; Right: Bruce Garner/Chattanooga Fire Department photo via Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP
Left: Booking photo for Johnthony Walker; Right: Bruce Garner/Chattanooga Fire Department photo via Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP

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5:25 p.m.

The NFL’s Tennessee Titans announced the team’s foundation is donating $25,000 to The Woodmore Fund to benefit the families of victims of the Chattanooga school bus crash.

The Titans also will wear “W.E.S.” decals on their helmets Sunday when they play the Chicago Bears in honor of the five Woodmore Elementary School students killed when their bus crashed on Monday afternoon.

Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk says the Titans were stunned and saddened by news of the fatal bus crash Monday. The Woodmore Fund was created with the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and other partners to help support the needs of the victims’ families.

Earlier in the day, University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones and a handful of players traveled to Chattanooga to visit victims in the hospital.

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4:30 p.m.

A passenger on the school bus that crashed in Chattanooga and his mother have filed a lawsuit against the bus driver and the company that provides busing for the Hamilton County schools.

Media outlets report attorney Herbert Thornbury represents Kimberly Boling and the 8-year-old boy. The lawsuit claims 24-year-old Johnthony Walker was driving negligently and carelessly and caused the collision, which resulted in the deaths of five children.

Walker is charged with five counts of vehicular homicide.

The bus was carrying students from an elementary school when it turned over and hit a tree Monday afternoon.

The lawsuit against Walker and Durham School Services contends the boy may be permanently injured, sustained pain and suffering and will incur medical and other expenses as a result of the wreck.

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3:30 p.m.

Police say toxicology reports on the driver of the bus that crashed in Chattanooga, killing five children, show no trace of drugs or alcohol.

Chattanooga Police Sgt. Austin Garrett announced Wednesday that a blood test was conducted on 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, who is charged with five counts of vehicular homicide.

Police say he was driving well over the posted 30-mph speed limit when he lost control of the bus.

Garrett said police are continuing to interview witnesses and review video footage of the crash. Six children remain hospitalized.

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3:40 a.m.

A pediatric emergency room doctor at the hospital where students were taken after a Chattanooga school bus crash killed five children says matching the injured with parents was a long process.

Dr. Darvey Koller of Children’s Hospital at Erlanger said Tuesday that the children were scared and dazed and so young that many couldn’t spell their names or remember their parents’ names. Koller says several of the children said “Momma” when asked who their parents were.

Twenty-three children were taken to hospitals Monday afternoon. Twelve were still there Tuesday evening, including six still in critical condition.

Police said the bus was traveling too fast when it veered off a narrow, winding road and crashed into a tree. The driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, was arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide.

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