Police say Chattanooga school bus crash driver was speeding

(Courtesy: Chattanooga Fire Department)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – 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 Johnthony 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.

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