Paramus school bus crash video made public, and it’s as head-scratching today as it was in May

Video of a horrific school bus crash that claimed the life of a Paramus teacher and student in May was released by the state Friday after a judge ordered that the clip be made public. Watch video

Video of a horrific school bus crash that claimed the life of a Paramus teacher and student in May was released by the state Friday after a judge ordered that the harrowing Department of Transportation clip be made public.

The May 17 video shows the bus, which was carrying 44 people, come into frame at the top right of screen as it makes its way down a ramp to I-80 west from Route 206 in Mount Olive, just as the dump truck appears on the bottom of the screen. 

The driver, Hudy Muldrow Sr., 77, of Jersey City, passes the end of the concrete strip that separates the ramp from the interstate and, after he briefly stops, makes a sharp left turn across the three lanes to apparently try to use a cut-through to the eastbound lanes.

The dump truck, traveling west, tries to avoid the bus, which was moving perpendicular across the highway, but was unable to stop before crashing into the vehicle, which was on a field trip from East Brook Middle School in Paramus.

NJ Advance Media first reported on the details of the video in May.

The crash separated the bus from its chassis and killed Jennifer Williamson, a social studies teacher at East Brook Middle School and fifth-grade student Miranda Vargas, 10, while injuring dozens of children from the school.

The bus was one of the three taking children on a field trip to the restored canal town of Waterloo Village in Byram. 

The video was released following a lawsuit by Gannett.

Muldrow was driving the second bus in the three-bus convoy when they missed a turn for Waterloo Village on Route 206, according to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

The buses became separated while navigating back to the turn for Waterloo Village, authorities said.

The other two buses arrived at the destination, but Muldrow drove the school bus back onto Route 80 west away from the destination and attempted to make the illegal turn, prosecutors said.

A court affidavit said 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.”

Muldrow was charged with two counts of reckless vehicular homicide on May 24 and was released from jail on May 30 on the condition that he turn in his driver’s license and check in with pre-trial services twice a month.

The second-degree offense carries a potential prison sentence of five to 10 years.

The charges could be presented to a grand jury within the next two months, NorthJersey.com reported.

In the fallout of crash, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law requiring three-point seatbelts on school buses.

Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

 

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