Lawyers want civil claims in deadly bus crash put on hold

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Lawyers for a man accused of causing a Tennessee bus crash that killed six school students say they want civil litigation against their client put on hold to protect his constitutional rights during his criminal case.

Police have said Johnthony Walker was speeding in November while driving 37 elementary students home when the bus left a curvy road, hit a utility pole, overturned and hit a tree. He was charged with vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving in the Chattanooga crash.

Attorneys representing families who have filed lawsuits against Walker and his employer, Durham School Services, over the crash are opposed to putting the civil claims on hold.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press ( reports Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge J.B. Bennett will hear arguments Monday on the request.