Community mourns after deadly New Jersey crash, bus driver charged

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ByToni Yates via WABC logo
Friday, May 25, 2018
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CeFaan Kim has more on the community in mourning after last week's deadly school bus crash.

PARAMUS, New Jersey (WABC) -- The bus driver in last Thursday's deadly school bus crash has been charged after surrendering to police.

Hudy Muldrow, Sr. is charged with two counts of death-by-auto or vehicular homicide.

Muldrow surrendered to the New Jersey State Police and was booked into the Morris County Jail to await arraignment Friday.

"Last Thursday's accident is a truly tragic event. We mourn the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers are with the families so affected. Likewise, that extends to all those that were injured in this accident," Muldrow's attorney said in a statement. "Mr. Muldrow is presumed innocent of his charges. While we understand that this accident and its tragic consequences are a matter of considerable public interest, my client has faith in the criminal justice system and reiterates his presumption of innocence.

Meanwhile, beloved teacher Jennifer Williamson was laid to rest in New Jersey on Thursday.

Williamson and a student were killed in a school bus crash when the bus they were in collided with a dump truck on Route 80 last Thursday.

She was described as a sweet, gentle soul who showed kindness to everyone.

The loss of Jennifer Williamson cuts most deeply to her family, her parents, brother, her husband. Her loss has left hearts broken among friends, co-workers and students.

The sadness of her death was tempered by the joy she brought to those she loved in life.

"She was my favorite 5th-grade teacher when I had her two years ago," said Sophia, a student. "It's hard to accept that she's gone."

Hundreds of former students and parents filled Our Lady of the Visitation Church to bid this untimely goodbye to Williamson.

She dedicated 20 years to educating hundreds of 5th graders who passed through East Brook Middle School.

"Beautiful, vibrant she's real. Just a gorgeous person," said Nancy, the parent of a student.

The community gathered on the football field of Paramus High School later Thursday evening to come together as one.

"I didn't plan anything for tonight because I don't know what to say. Last Thursday was the toughest day of my life," East Brook Middle School Principal Thomas LoBue said. "All of these people here tonight just goes to show you how much love there is in than place. So thank you. Every day we're getting a little bit better."

Many questions are being raised about the school bus driver, who crossed several lanes of traffic one week ago, during a field trip, causing a dump truck to crash into the bus.

Motor vehicle records show 77-year-old Hudy Muldrow had numerous driving violations, but he was allowed to drive for the school district's transportation fleet.

The superintendent released a statement saying, "I am shocked, saddened and angry to read a news reports concerning the school bus drivers driving record. Nothing that was provided to the district by the state reflected the driver had any moving violations. In fact, all we were told is that he was a driver in good standing and eligible to operate a school bus. If this news reports a true our community and our children deserve better than to receive incomplete information about his record."

That information will be a big part of the investigation. Meanwhile, this community mourns a teacher that left a legacy for her students.

"She always had a smile on her face for them," a parents said. "She was just great."


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