Family of student killed in 2018 I-80 school bus crash awarded $7 million settlement
The Paramus School District will pay $7 million to the family of Miranda Vargas, a 10-year-old girl who lost her life in a school bus crash along Interstate 80.
Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy both lost their lives in the May 17, 2018 crash.
At the time, students from the East Brook Middle School in Paramus were out on a field trip to Waterloo Village. The bus driver attempted to make an illegal U-turn at the median and was hit by a dump truck.
In addition to Vargas, student Asher Majeed was awarded $12.5 million. He survived the crash but suffered critical injuries.
WATCH: News 12's Walt Kane discusses school bus safety in New Jersey
News 12 spoke with the attorney for Vargas and Majeed. Bruce Nagel says the fault lies with both the bus driver and the school district.
“The absolute horror here is that the school knew or should’ve known that his license had been suspended 20 times. And that he was in five accidents previously and in no position to drive children on a school bus,” says Nagel.
Bus driver Huddy Muldrow was charged with vehicular homicide and child endangerment. He eventually pleaded guilty and is now serving 10 years in prison.
Paramus School District responded to the settlements in a statement.
Superintendent Sean Adams said, “These cases, as they move forward, are extremely difficult for the families, and we will continue to support their children and the families in any way we can.”
The status of Williamson-Kennedy’s family’s lawsuit is not clear.