We have no words.
A Tennessee school bus driver was charged with vehicular homicide after speeding around a curb and crashing the bus full of children into a tree.
The most bone-chilling part of the report was the final words of the driver before killing five children and injuring 23 more, which were reportedly: “Are y’all ready to die?”
Jasmine Mateen, the mother of three children who were on the bus — including a 6-year-old daughter who died — told local press her daughter had revealed the haunting words of Johnthony Walker right before the bus flipped.
She explained to CBS News:
“My daughter said right before the bus flipped that he was speeding around the curve and asked them ├óΓé¼╦£Are y’all ready to die.'”
The 24-year-old driver was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide along with reckless driving and reckless endangerment after the crash on Monday afternoon.
According to police reports, Walker was driving well over the posted 30 mph limit when he lost control of the bus.
Hamilton County School interim superintendent Kirk Kelly confirmed four of the five dead children were girls — three of the students were in fourth grade, one in first grade, and one in kindergarten.
As of Tuesday morning, six students remained in intensive care while six others were also still hospitalized. Kelly added that classes would be held on Tuesday with counselors available for students and staff.
Mateen revealed she and other parents had complained repeatedly about Walker’s unsafe behavior months before the accident.
Craig Harris, whose daughter and stepson were both on the bus, told GMA he has seen Walker drive faster than he should on several occasions, and witnessed the driver dropping his children off at different spots on the street in the afternoons.
“There has been times where I’ve seen him going a little faster than he probably should be going. That’s the reason why I tried to be there in the mornings when he’s pulling up. I kind of figured that wasn’t something he was supposed to be doing.”
Gwenevere Cook, Walker’s mother, told reporters her family was saddened by the news of the fatal crash and extended her condolences to the victims’ families.
However, she also urged people to have compassion for her son, who she says works 2 jobs and does not drink or do drugs.
Walker was jailed on $107,500 bail for a court appearance on November 29. Our hearts go out to the victims’ families at this tragic time.