A parent of one of the children killed in a fatal Tennessee school bus crash claims that she told the school over the summer about Johnthony Walker’s erratic driving.
Jasmine Mateen told NBC News that she called and wrote letters to the Chattanooga school in August, shortly after school started. She accused the bus driver of purposely slamming on his brakes so that the kids would hit their heads.
“I’ve been calling, complaining about the bus driver since August,” Mateen said. She added that she read the letter out loud in front of Walker and the kids and claims he replied, “So? I’d do it again.”
On the day of the accident, one of her children told her that “Right before the bus flipped that he was speeding around the curve and asked them ‘Are y’all ready to die,’” CBS News reported.
She also stressed that Walker was drinking on the job daily and cursed at the children regularly.
Mateen, whose 6-year-old daughter was killed in the accident, broke down when recalling the moment she was told her child was dead. “The detective asked me what my child had on and said your baby’s deceased. She wanted to be a doctor. And now my baby can’t be that doctor that she wanted to be,” the tearful mother said.
Mateen’s two other children were on the bus and are alive but seriously hurt.
HelloBeautiful previously reported that Walker was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. Police said Walker was driving over the posted 30 mph limit when he lost control of the bus, which didn’t have any seat belts to protect the children.
Walker’s mother, Gwenevere Cook, said she spoke with her son after the crash and plead for people not to judge her only son for the accident.
“He said, ‘I love you, Mom. I’ve been in an accident on the bus,’ and he said, ‘Mom, there are kids dead. I hope it’s not my fault,’” she said.
Walker has no criminal history and the results of drug and alcohol test show he had no substances in his system.
This is a developing story and we will provide updates as they become available.