Authorities have filed death-by-auto charges against the 77-year-old school bus driver in a Route 80 crash that killed a Paramus middle school student and one of her teachers last week.
If convicted of the two vehicular homicide counts, Hudy Muldrow Sr. of Woodland Park could face five to 10 years in state prison, 85% of which he’d have to serve before being eligible for parole.
A detention hearing was scheduled for Friday in Morristown for Muldrow, who, records show, has been cited for speeding eight times and had his driver’s license suspended several others.
Muldrow was transporting 44 passengers from East Brook Middle School when he tried to make an illegal U-turn through a police-only cutout on the busy interstate in Mount Olive last Tuesday, cutting in front of a dump truck that struck the bus so hard that it knocked it off its chassis.
Killed were 10-year-old fifth-grader Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson.
Muldrow’s bus was the second of three headed to Waterloo Village for a class trip. The drivers missed their turn and somehow became separated, authorities said.
For some reason, they said, Muldrow made his way back to westbound Route 80, headed in the wrong direction.
He then pulled a sharp left from the slow lane of the three-lane highway toward the cutout on the median near the Waterloo Bridge (Exit 25), leaving the bus “positioned in an almost-perpendicular direction in relation to the lanes of travel on Route 80 westbound," the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said in a release.
The driver of the dump truck, which was in the center lane, couldn’t stop in time, authorities said.
The teacher who was killed, 51-year-old Jennifer M. Williamson, was a longtime Paramus native who taught in the district for nearly 20 years.
"She was an angel," more than one parent said.
Miranda Vargas, who was laid to rest Monday, was described as having a smile that touched countless hearts, a gentle soul and an intense love for her family.
Several other victims remained critically and seriously injured.They include Sofia Evelich, who has remained in critical condition in a pediatric intensive care unit with severe head trauma.
Another youngster, young Brendan O'Callaghan, got a hockey stick signed by his idol, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist , and a card from the rest of the team.
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