Records show Chattanooga school bus driver involved in wreck 2 m - WSMV News 4

Records show Chattanooga school bus driver involved in wreck 2 months ago

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The driver, Johnthony Walker, is charged with five counts of vehicular homicide. (Source: Chattanooga Police Department) The driver, Johnthony Walker, is charged with five counts of vehicular homicide. (Source: Chattanooga Police Department)
This illustration was included in the report from the September crash. (WSMV) This illustration was included in the report from the September crash. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Channel 4 is learning more details about the school bus driver involved in a deadly crash in Chattanooga on Monday.

According to a driving history report from the state, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker hit another vehicle while driving a school bus two months ago.

On Sept. 20, Walker was driving a school bus on Sylvan Drive in Chattanooga. That's when, according to the police report, he sideswiped a Kia Soul going in the opposite direction. This reportedly happened at a blind curve in the road and he allegedly failed to yield.

No one was hurt in the incident. There was no indication that alcohol or drugs were involved, and neither of the drivers were tested.

The officer estimated the damage to be more than $400. 

It's not clear from this report if there were children on the bus. The report says there were no children sitting in the front rows.

Click here to read the full report on the crash.

Walker worked for contract transportation company Durham School Services.

Overall, Durham School Services has a good record for a company its size. But the company’s buses have already had 17 wrecks in Tennessee so far this year.

In those wrecks, a total of 19 people were hurt and one person was killed.

The fatal crash happened in Memphis in September.

In 2014, WMC-TV in Memphis found Durham had more than 250 school bus crashes in Memphis in three years. Drivers were at fault more than half the time.

The report found Durham bus drivers with serious motor vehicle violations and drug records. A bus driver arrested for smoking marijuana on the bus had a previous felony record.

Kerry Krick, a Durham official who has since left the company, pledged to fix the problems.

“I hold myself accountable. I hold my own feet and my managers’ feet to the fire. If we’re not living up to the obligations and my expectations, by all means we’ve failed, Krick said.

Click here to read the full WMC-TV report.

On Tuesday, NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said they will scrutinize the driver and Durham School Services.

“We’ll be looking at the company and into their past, who they hire and train,” Hart said. “We have not done any of that yet, but that will be part of the investigation.”

Federal records show Durham has had problems with driver fitness, including drivers being caught without commercial licenses.

David Duke, the CEO of the company, released this statement:

Our entire team at Durham School Services is devastated by the accident yesterday that tragically claimed the lives of  Chattanooga students.  We are working with Chattanooga Police Department and  Hamilton County School District to investigate.  We also have additional team members arriving in Chattanooga today to provide support. We have offered to provide counseling to students and families of Hamilton County, as well as our employees.  We will provide all further updates in coordination with the Chattanooga Police Department and the District.

Channel 4 reached out to Durham School Services on Tuesday to ask about their history and why they kept Walker on after his September wreck. We did hear back beyond the previous statement.

Channel 4 has also learned that Walker had a second job at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Chattanooga. Amazon confirmed he was last scheduled to work there this past Saturday.

Copyright 2016 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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