Students complained about driving before bus wreck


Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Students and administrators raised concerns about a Tennessee school bus driver’s behavior behind the wheel in the weeks before a crash that killed six children.

Police have charged driver Johnthony Walker with vehicular homicide after the Chattanooga crash.

Federal authorities said Walker was driving off the designated bus route when he wrecked on a curvy road while carrying 37 children on their way home from Woodmore Elementary School.

Records released by the school district Friday include two written statements by students complaining about Walker’s driving.

“The bus driver drives fast,” one student wrote earlier this month. “It feels like the bus is going to flip over... When someone is in the aisle he stops the bus and he makes people hit their heads.”

Another student wrote: “The bus driver was doing sharp turns, and he made me fly over to the next seat. We need seat belts.”

On Nov. 2, a school official boarded the bus after the driver complained that students were not listening him.

One student had complained about the heat on the bus and cursed about it to the bus driver.

“The driver was now visibly upset and continued on by saying that he had another job and driving this bus was just a part-time job for him,” wrote Carlis Shackelford, a behavior specialist at the school.

“Driver stated that he did not care about the students and proceeded to tell the students he did not care about them,” Shackelford wrote.

Walker was in custody at the Hamilton County Correctional Facility on Friday and had a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Jail records do not indicate whether he has an attorney.

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