Driver deadly Tennessee school bus crash was on his cell phone, prosecutor says

Prosecutors say Johnthony Walker, the driver in a Tennessee school bus crash that killed six elementary school students, took a cell phone call at the time of the crash.

Six of the elementary school students in Tennessee are dead because the driver was speeding and on his phone when it crashed, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Authorities said Johnthony Walker was speeding in November 2016, when he wrecked the bus on a winding road in Chattanooga, while the transfer of 37 children. The 25-year-old faces 34 charges, including six counts of vehicle homicide.

Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston said in court that Walker received a call at 3:17 a.m. that day that lasted for almost four minutes, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Pinkston, said the first 911 call about the crash came at 3:20 pm

Also in the district court, Pinkston said that he wanted to use as evidence phone calls the week before the crash, say they can show interviews with the same person, and a pattern of calls on the afternoon of the crash.

A school bus is carried away on a trailer after a deadly crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee. that killed six of the elementary school students. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Walker made bond and is out of jail. He must make use of GPS-monitoring and not in the control of motor vehicle pending trial, which is set to begin Feb. 27.

Walker’s lawyer, Amanda Dunn, had previously said that there is nothing in the Walker phone before Nov. 21 is important, adding that the prosecutors downloaded material “that significantly pre-dated the accident.”

The problem of telephone conversations, among others, will be discussed further during a hearing Feb. 5.

Dunn is not directly an e-mail and office voice mail messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The judge Don Poole said Tuesday that out-of-town judges will be drawn for the process. Poole also rejected a public records request from a news organization that sought the Walker in the prison phone calls in 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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