(Reuters) – The driver of a school bus that crashed in Tennessee last year, killing six children, was charged with vehicular homicide in an indictment unsealed on Wednesday, local media reported.
The indictment contained six counts of vehicular homicide against Johnthony Walker along with other criminal counts, according to a copy of the court papers posted on the website of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Walker, 24, was arrested last year in connection with the Nov. 21 bus crash in Chattanooga. Authorities have said he was speeding on a winding road while using a cellphone before the bus veered off course, flipped on its side and hit a tree.
Walker’s attorney could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Walker has remained in jail since his arrest, according to local media. The charge of vehicular manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
The indictment was filed in Hamilton County criminal court. Walker is due to appear before a judge on March 24, according to the website for the local district attorney’s office, which confirmed the indictment was unsealed on Wednesday.
The grand jury that handed down the indictment also charged Walker with four counts of reckless aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and use of a cellphone behind the wheel of a school bus, said the court papers posted by the Times Free Press.
Over a dozen other children on the bus were injured in the crash.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney)