Report: Mom says Tennessee school bus driver asked kids if they - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Report: Mom says Tennessee school bus driver asked kids if they were ‘ready to die’

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A mother told reporters that a Chattanooga school bus driver asked the kids on board if they were "ready to die" prior to the crash that killed at least five children and left six others hospitalized in an intensive care unit in Tennessee Monday.

Woodmore Elementary School bus driver Johnthony Walker has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving, according to Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher.

The mother, who had three children on the bus, including one who was killed in the crash, told a reporter the bus driver spoke to the children moments before the collision, according to television station WWJ-TV. 

“The mother says that in the moments before the crash, the bus driver said something to the effect of ‘Are you all ready to die?’ and then seconds later, the bus was on its side and five kids were killed,” the reporter said, according to WWJ-TV.

The bus driver, identified as Johnthony Walker, 24, has been arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

"Five is a cursed number in our city right now. We are ... dealing with an unimaginable loss," Mayor Andy Berke said. "The most unnatural thing in the world is for a parent to mourn the loss of a child."

Authorities arrested the bus driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, charging him with vehicular homicide. But investigators are still working to pinpoint what caused the crash.

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