Footage from scene of serious highway crash new New York

School bus driver in fatal New Jersey crash had licence suspended 14 times

The bus, carrying schoolchildren on a field trip, crashed after colliding with a rubbish truck on Thursday, killing a 10-year-old student and a teacher

Patrick McGeehan
Thursday 24 May 2018 22:20
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The driver of a bus full of young schoolchildren that crashed killing two passengers in Mount Olive, New Jersey, had his licence suspended 14 times, including once late last year, state records show.

About half of those suspensions, including the most recent, were for parking violations, according to the records of the state's Motor Vehicle Commission.

Only one of the 14 suspensions over a 43-year driving record was for a moving violation — making an improper turn.

The driver, 77-year-old Hudy Muldrow, has a valid commercial driver’s licence and an endorsement from the state to drive a school bus, said Mairin Bellack, a spokeswoman for the commission.

Investigators have been trying to determine if he tried to make an illegal U-turn on Interstate 80 as he was taking 44 passengers from East Brook Middle School in Paramus on a field trip to Waterloo Village in northwestern New Jersey.

The bus collided with a rubbish truck on the highway and overturned. One 10-year-old student, Miranda Vargas, was killed, as was a teacher, Jennifer Williamson, 51. Everybody else on board, including Mr Muldrow, was injured and taken to a hospital where some of them remain.

The investigators at the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office have a video of the bus entering the highway westbound just before the crash.

But they have not released it to the public, nor have they discussed details of the crash or what may have caused it.

Ms Bellack said Mr Muldrow had been licensed to drive in New Jersey since 1975.

During that time he had been involved in five accidents, but Ms Bellack said the records did not indicate the severity of those accidents or whether Mr Muldrow had been driving.She said they could have involved a car registered to him but driven by someone else.

Paramus school officials said Mr Muldrow was employed by the borough’s school board and was driving one of the school district’s buses on the trip last week.

The state’s record did not indicate how long Mr Muldrow had been driving for the Paramus schools.

Ms Bellack said a driver must be at least 21 and pass a doctor’s physical exam every two years to maintain a commercial driver’s licence. She said there was no upper age limit for those licences.

The New York Times.

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