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Johnthony Walker, the Chattanooga, Tenn., bus driver who crashed an elementary school bus in November, has been indicted on six counts of vehicular manslaughter for the deaths of six children who were on board.

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Witnesses say the 24-year-old driver was speeding “well above the speed limit of 30 miles per hour” with 37 Woodmore Elementary School students in the bus prior to the deadly crash. He reportedly lost control of the vehicle, smacking into several barriers on the side of the road. Allegedly, he asked the children if they were “ready to die” moments before the incident.

Walker’s attorneys insist that the bus company he worked for, Durham School Services, has been avoiding responsibility for the accident and withholding damages from the victims. They are “pushing to freeze all civil litigation against him” and “have his employer protect his constitutional rights.”

“Defendant Walker cannot escape liability for his misdeeds, so he is attempting to delay these proceedings rather than facing the consequences of his actions,” attorney Everett Hixson, who is representing one of the families, said in response.

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In addition to the vehicular manslaughter charges, Walker is also facing charges of reckless aggravated assault, including one count of reckless driving, use of a portable device by a bus driver and reckless endangerment. He is currently being held in jail and is set to appear in court for his arraignment on March 24.

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