A community has been left devastated after six young children were killed and several others seriously injured in a school bus crash on a recent Monday morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Their pain has been even more exacerbated by the fact that this may not have been some terrible error in judgment but instead a calculated, intentional act.
According to CNN, the driver of the bus has been charged with numerous counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving. The bus reportedly slammed into a tree and split apart. Moments before the collision, the traumatized children told their parents and investigators, the 24-year-old driver had shouted, “Are ya’ll ready to die?!” He was reportedly traveling well over the 30-mph speed limit when he took a hard right turn and lost control of the bus, which did not have seat belts. It took hours to extricate all of the children from the mangled mass of metal after the crash. Five children died at the scene, and another was pronounced dead at the hospital. A total of 23 children were on the bus. Six children are in critical condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation into the crash and will be looking at what, if anything, could have been done to prevent this tragedy. If the children’s accounts are true, and these injuries and deaths were results of an intentional act, that could complicate any pending personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.