News

Driver in fatal I-80 school bus crash appears in court

Posted: Updated:
PARAMUS -

The driver of a school bus that collided with a dump truck on Interstate-80 last week, killing a student and a teacher and injuring more than 40 others, was in court Friday to appear on two death-by-auto charges.

Hudy Muldrow Sr., 77, shuffled slowly into a Morristown court with his hands and ankles cuffed. He spoke very softly while answering the judge’s questions.

Prosecutors say that Muldrow missed a turn and tried to make a U-turn on I-80 westbound while carrying a group of fifth-graders and chaperones from East Brook Middle School in Paramus on a field trip to Waterloo Village.

Miranda Vargas, age 10, and 51-year-old teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy died in the crash.

RELATED: Paramus school bus driver charged for deaths in I-80 crash
RELATED: Driver in deadly school bus crash had license suspended 14 times
MORE: Horrific bus crash tests responders, equipment

Miranda Vargas’s family was in court for the hearing. The girl’s father was wearing sunglasses inside the courtroom, but took them off when Muldrow entered. He kept his gaze locked on the driver.

“[Mr. Vargas] is not a man of anger.  He's not a vicious man.  He's a peaceful man but this was hard for him to sit there and not want to get some sort of revenge. But he's not that type of man,” said David Fried, an attorney for the Vargas family.

The Vargas family says that they want to see Muldrow face prison time for his alleged role in the crash. They are also taking action against Paramus and the Board of Education.

“Mr. Vargas said to me the other day, ‘This is the future of America and they're being put into the hands of people who…probably had no business being a bus driver,’” Fried said.

Muldrow’s family and friends were also in court and defended him, saying that he would never intentionally hurt children. They said that they do not think he belongs in jail.

Prosecutor Matthew Troiano says additional charges stemming from other injuries in the May 17 crash in Mount Olive could be coming.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Behind the Scenes of Disney On Ice

    Behind the Scenes of Disney On Ice

    Behind the Scenes: Disney on IceBehind the Scenes: Disney on Ice

    Take a sneak peak behind the scenes of Disney on Ice! The show made a stop at the Nassau Coliseum.

    Take a sneak peak behind the scenes of Disney on Ice! The show made a stop at the Nassau Coliseum.

  • 2018 Country Music Award Association Awards

    2018 Country Music Award Association Awards

    Photos from the 2018 Country Music Award Association Awards on Nov. 14, 2018.

    Photos from the 2018 Country Music Award Association Awards on Nov. 14, 2018.

  • The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 6:35 PM EST2018-11-13 23:35:07 GMT

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."