Johnthony Walker was driving well above the 30mph speed limit when the bus carrying 35 Woodmore Elementary students flipped onto its side and wrapped around a tree in Chattanooga.
The mother of three children who were on the bus – including one who died – said her daughter revealed what Johnthony Walker told them right before the crash.
‘My daughter said, right before the bus flipped, that he was speeding around the curb, and asked them, ‘are y’all ready to die?’ she told CBS News Radio.
Walker, 24, is charged with five counts of vehicular homicide as well as reckless driving and reckless endangerment after the crash on Monday afternoon.
But his mother Gwenevere Cook claims that Walker is a responsible father and called her immediately after the fatal crash to tell her what happened as he helped rescue the children from the wreck.
‘Mama, I love you. I have been in a drastic accident,’ Cook told CNN she recalled her son saying.
‘He texted me minutes later saying the kids are dead. He was trying to get [the children] off the bus – all the bodies were limp.’
Walker was driving well above the 30mph speed limit when the bus carrying students flipped onto its side and wrapped around a tree, according to an arrest affidavit.
Five children died and 23 other injured students were taken to hospital with injuries.
Six students remain in intensive care on Tuesday morning and six others are also still hospitalized.