PARAMUS, N.J. — A school bus driver 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 that charged the driver with vehicular homicide.
Authorities charged Hudy Muldrow Sr., 77, with vehicular homicide, also known as death by auto, 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.
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 western New Jersey.
After missing a turn, Muldrow tried to merge onto Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, about 45 miles west of New York City, then turned sharply across the highway toward a U-turn area reserved for emergency vehicles, according to an affidavit filed by New Jersey state police.
Muldrow “disregarded the marked No Turn sign and turned Bus #2 to the left in an apparent attempt to gain access to an official-use only access point located between the East and Westbound lanes of Route 80,” the affidavit says.
The crash sheared the bus from its wheelbase and crushed the front end of the dump truck.
State police said Muldrow would be taken into custody Thursday. A detention hearing was scheduled for Friday.
It wasn’t immediately known if Muldrow had retained an attorney.