School bus driver Johnthony Walker, 24, was arrested Monday night and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving over Monday's deadly school bus crash in Chattanooga, the Chattanoogan reports. Initial reports stated that six children died in the horrific crash, but Fletcher told reporters that casualty figures will not be released until he has spoken to all the families personally, 12 News reports. "This is an absolute nightmare for our community, for police, for partners, but I can ensure you we are prepared and trained to make sure this is investigated thoroughly," he said. Speed is "being investigated very, very strongly" as a factor in the crash, according to the chief.
At least 23 of the 35 Woodmore Elementary students on the bus, from kindergarten through fifth grade, were hospitalized after the crash, reports the Chattanooga Free Press. It took hours for emergency workers to remove all the children from the wreckage of the bus. National Transportation Safety Board investigators will arrive at the scene Tuesday. The New York Times reports that there has been a huge outpouring of support in Chattanooga, where a blood donation center stayed open late and still had a line of donors that stretched outside at 9pm. At a local store, a woman bought every stuffed animal in stock after the crash and brought them to the school, telling officials that she would be back Tuesday with one for every student. (Read more school bus stories.)