“Are y’all ready to die?” are the last words of school bus driver Johnthony Walker, 24, before the fatal crash according to a Tennessee mom. “My daughter said, right before the bus flipped, that he was speeding around the curb, and asked them, ‘are y’all ready to die?,” she says in an interview with CBS News Radio.
Walker is charged with five counts of vehicular homicide as well as reckless driving and reckless endangerment after a crash on Monday afternoon, Nov. 21, 2016 in Chattanooga.
He was driving the bus “well above the posted speed limit of 30 mph,” according to an arrest affidavit. Walker “lost control of the bus and swerved off of the roadway to the right, striking an elevated driveway and mailbox, swerved to the left and began to overturn, striking a telephone pole and a tree.”
Zyanna Harris, 10, Zoey, Cordayja Jones, nine, and D’Myunn Brown, six, were identified by family members as four of the five Woodmore Elementary students who died on Monday.
Zach and Zoey’s sister, DaQuesha N Jermichael, in a GoFundMe posts writes:
My name is Daquesha. I am the oldest sister of Zach & Zoey. My brother and sister were involved in the terrible wreck on a school bus coming home from school on Talley Rd, November 21, 2016. The driver was said to have been speeding and asked the kids if they were ‘Ready to die today’., moments later ending with the school bus split in half with a tree. 5 kids dead, my sister one of the five. 23 hospitalized, my brother one of them. I started this fund me to raise money for medical and funeral expenses. Anything helps. Thank you for your concerns and condolences.
The school bus was reportedly packed with children slammed into a tree, flipped over and split apart. Students cried as rescuers worked for hours to pull them from the wreckage.
Of the five children confirmed dead after Monday’s crash, three were fourth-graders at Woodmore Elementary School, one was a first-grader and one was a kindergartner, according to Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent for Hamilton County Schools. Six students remain hospitalized in the intensive care unit, and six are in regular rooms at the hospital, Kelly tells media.