A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a school-bus crash Monday that left five children dead in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Johnthony Walker now faces five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving. Five of the children died on the bus, which had been carrying 35 students, from kindergarteners to fifth-graders, when it crashed at around 3:20 p.m. while transporting children home from school. Twenty-three students were transported to a local hospital. Police reports indicate the bus hit a tree and then collapsed on its side. It took authorities two hours to fully evacuate the battered vehicle. Officials said the bus’s speed was being “very, very strongly” investigated as a cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam expressed his condolences to the victims and their families. “We’ve had a tragic event involving a school bus down in Hamilton County,” Haslam said Monday night. “We will do everything we can to assist in what I think is going to be a very sad situation.”