A bus driver who was part of a fatal crash was not eligible to drive shortly before the accident, as covered by North Jersey.
The tragic crash happened on May 17 in the Town of Mount Olive, New Jersey. A school bus with teachers and students from a Paramus middle school driven by Hudy Muldrow Sr. as part of a field trip was struck by a dump truck as Muldrow attempted to make an illegal U-turn on a median after missing an exit. More than 40 people on the bus were injured, and the crash claimed the lives of 10-year-old Miranda Vargas and Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy, a teacher.
Muldrow was charged with vehicular homicide in connection with the two deaths, and it was revealed at a hearing that he was not cleared to drive for a time before the crash occurred. Documents introduced at the hearing from the state’s department of education show that the superintendent of Paramus schools was told in December that Muldrow was not eligible to drive and that the district was asked to comply with this ineligibility determination.
Records obtained by local news agencies show Muldrow was decertified by the state’s education department in December of 2017. Another letter, dated in December, shows that the superintendent was told Muldrow’s endorsement as a bus driver had been revoked by the state’s motor vehicle agency and that his medical certification was also expired.
It is not known why the agency suspended the bus driver’s endorsement. According to state guidelines, a bus driver can lose his or her endorsement due to a disqualifying medical condition or because of a criminal history. Muldrow did end up renewing his medical certificate at the very end of the year, and he received his endorsement back in January. The district has since said they believed it was his expired medical certification that caused the endorsement suspension, but a letter to Muldrow from the motor vehicle department about the issue did not seem to indicate that.
A closer look at Muldrow’s driving history revealed his license has been suspended a total of 14 times, most recently in December 2017. While six of these suspensions involved unpaid speeding tickets, the bus driver also received eight citations for speeding and had been in trouble for careless driving in the past. Should he be convicted of these charges, he will not be allowed to drive a bus ever again, according to the state’s department of education and its motor vehicle agency.
Many people are now questioning the school district’s failure to confirm why he lost his bus driving license privileges just months before this tragic accident. It does not appear to involve his medical status, but it could be related to the outstanding speeding fines.
Muldrow was initially charged and jailed, but he has since been released. His next appearance in court is scheduled for June.
Bus accidents can have a terrible toll, like the one in Mount Olive. If you’ve been in a bus accident, contact an attorney, like a bus accident lawyer Denver, CO turns to, about your case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into bus accident cases.
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