School bus driver charged in deadly Chattanooga crash

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — There were multiple fatalities in an elementary school bus crash in Chattanooga, according to police.

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Police said the bus crash sent 23 people to area hospitals and 35 schoolchildren were on the bus Monday afternoon.

The District Attorney's office told WTVC that five children died at the scene and one more died at an area hospital.

Johnthony Walker, 24, was arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving, according to WTVC.

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Chattanooga police say speed is being investigated "very, very strongly" as a factor in the crash.

"It is a complicated crime scene that covers a significant area. I can't tell you if there were any issues (with road conditions). There were none that jumped out. Right now it appears that one contributing factor may be speed but that is part of an active, ongoing investigation," CPD Chief Fred Fletcher said.

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The bus driver is being questioned and is cooperating, according to WTVC.

The bus was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

Photos released by the Chattanooga Fire Department show the bus split in half by a tree. They said several patients had to be extricated from the bus.

The students on board ranged from kindergarten through fifth grade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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