Lawsuit: School bus driver in fatal Chattanooga wreck was ‘sadistic’

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Johnthony Walker

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A federal lawsuit says the driver in a Chattanooga school bus wreck that killed six children had a “sadistic” habit of driving recklessly and slamming on the brakes to discipline the children.

News outlets report that a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Chattanooga federal court accuses Hamilton County Schools, district Transportation Supervisor Ben Coulter and Durham School Services of failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent the Nov. 21 crash and being “deliberately indifferent” to the students’ constitutional rights.

The lawsuit says the defendants had received complaints about the bus driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, but did nothing. Walker has been charged with six counts of vehicular homicide.

School board Chairman Steve Highlander declined to comment.

At least six state civil lawsuits have been filed by other attorneys since the crash.