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Driver's Illegal U-Turn Attempt Caused Fatal Crash: Authorities

School bus driver crossed 3 lanes in apparent attempt to make an illegal U-turn, authorities say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2018 6:09 PM CDT
Emergency personnel work at the scene of the school bus and dump truck collision on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J. on May 17, 2018.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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(Newser) – A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway last week by crossing three lanes of traffic in an apparent attempt to make an illegal U-turn, according to a criminal complaint released Thursday. Authorities charged Hudy Muldrow Sr., 77, with two counts of vehicular homicide in the deaths of 10-year-old student Miranda Vargas and 51-year-old teacher Jennifer Williamson. More than 40 others were injured, some seriously, in the May 17 crash between the bus and a dump truck, reports the AP. The bus was one of three carrying students and teachers from a middle school in Paramus on a field trip to a historic site in New Jersey, about 30 miles away. Muldrow missed a turn, then merged onto Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, according to an affidavit filed by New Jersey state police.

He quickly crossed three lanes toward a break in the median reserved for emergency vehicles to attempt an illegal U-turn, the affidavit says. Muldrow "disregarded the marked No Turn sign" and turned his bus "to the left in an apparent attempt to gain access to an official-use only access point," according to the document. It adds that Muldrow turned his bus "so that it was positioned in an almost-perpendicular direction in relation to the lanes of travel" on westbound I-80. Muldrow had his license suspended 14 times between 1975 and 2017, mostly for administrative reasons, according to motor vehicle records. He had eight speeding violations between 1975 and 2001, and three moving violations, including one for careless driving and one for making an improper turn, in the last 10 years.

(Read more school bus stories.)

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