Deadly I-80 school bus crash prompts federal legislation

Posted: Updated:
RIVER EDGE -

A deadly school bus crash on Interstate-80 prompted a New Jersey congressman to introduce federal legislation.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer announced “Miranda’s Law” named after 10-year-old Paramus student Miranda Vargas, who was killed in the crash. The bill would require real-time notifications to schools when a bus driver gets a traffic violation.

Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy were killed and over 40 others injured when the school bus they were riding in collided with a dump truck on the highway in Mount Olive.

Driver Hudy Muldrow is facing vehicular manslaughter charges. Prosecutors say that Muldrow attempted to make an illegal U-turn on the roadway just prior to the crash. State records show that Muldrow had his license suspended several times but was still driving for the Paramus School District.

“We are truly broken from this,” said Miranda’s father, Joevanny Vargas. “Everyone tells me God needed an angel…but our selfish side cannot accept this.”

Miranda would have turned 11 years old Thursday.

Rep. Gottheimer stood with Joevanny Vargas as he announced the legislation.

“It will require real-time, automatic notifications of driver violations to school districts and other employers of school bus drivers, so they can take immediate action to get unsafe drivers off the road,” the congressman said.

The crash also prompted New Jersey state lawmakers to pass a bill to require three-point seat belts on all school buses in New Jersey. That bill is now waiting for Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature.

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