MOUNT OLIVE, New Jersey (CBS4) — The driver of a school bus that collided with a dump truck on Interstate 80 in New Jersey last week had previously had his license suspended 14 times, according to local media reports.
The bus driver was identified as 77-year-old Huddy Muldrow.
Records obtained from New Jersey Motor Vehicle Services show Muldrow had been ticketed eight times for speeding, once for careless driving, and had a summons for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle from 2003, NorthJersey.com reported. Six license suspensions were due to unpaid parking tickets.
Muldrow’s most recent suspension was in effect until Jan. 3, according to the report. He did have a valid Commercial Driver’s License at the time of the deadly crash.
NorthJersey.com and NJ.com quoted sources as saying Muldrow appears to have missed the intended exit and may have been attempting an illegal U-turn on cut-through from the westbound to eastbound lanes.
You can see a cut-through in video tweeted by RT.com shortly after the crash.
“…without warning, the driver makes a seemingly inexplicable sharp left onto the interstate, darting nearly perpendicularly across the highway,” NJ.com reported. “The driver, a source says, is heading toward a cut-through to the eastbound lanes, the kind used by State Troopers and other emergency vehicles.”
NJ.com said the dump truck swerved to miss the bus but the bus “is too long and takes up too much of the highway.”
The crash completely separated the bus from its chassis.
The crash killed Miranda Vargas, 10, and Jennifer Marie Williamson Kennedy, 51, and injured 43 others from East Brook Middle School in Paramus.
New Jersey state police and the Morris County prosecutor’s officer are investigating the crash.
It’s not clear what charges or moving violations Muldrow could face, but “both Muldrow and the school board that employs him could face a civil suit,” NorthJersey.com reported.