Judge: Evidence in deadly school bus crash to remain sealed

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Evidence collected from a Tennessee school bus crash that killed six children must remain sealed to ensure that nothing taints the jury pool against the bus driver in his criminal trial, a judge has ruled.

Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge J.B. Bennett told plaintiffs' attorneys Monday that they cannot yet see video footage, engine control module data or other data provided by the bus company, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported (http://bit.ly/2mxlTJM).

Johnthony Walker, 24, was speeding in November while driving 37 elementary school students home from school on a curvy Chattanooga road when he crashed, killing six and causing 12 others to be hospitalized, police said. Walker was charged with vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

Several families are suing Walker and his employer, Durham School Services, over the crash.

Plaintiffs' attorneys can access information from before the accident, such as personnel files, prior accidents, disciplinary measures, phone calls and other pieces of information related to Walker and Durham while a dozen or so civil suits remain frozen for 90 days, Bennett said.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com