Court date delayed for bus driver charged in Woodmore case

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 12/15/16. Johnthony Walker, the driver involved in the November 21, 2016 school bus crash that sent 31 of the 37 students on board to the hospital resulting in six fatalities, appears before Judge Lila Statom in Hamilton County General Sessions Court on December 15, 2016 for charges of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. Walker’s case was bound over to the grand jury after an hour and a half of testimony from two Chattanooga Police Department officers.

The Woodmore bus driver who was scheduled to appear today in Criminal Court has been passed to another date.

Johnthony Walker, 24, will next appear Aug. 31 in Judge Don Poole's courtroom.

Prosecutors say Walker was speeding along Talley Road on Nov. 21 when he overcorrected and crashed into a telephone pole and a tree with 37 Woodmore Elementary children on board. Six children died as a result and several more were injured.

Walker is charged with 34 crimes, including six counts of vehicular homicide and numerous counts of assault and reckless endangerment.

His attorney, Amanda Dunn, says her client is eligible for an alternative sentencing program called diversion that would allow Walker to get his charges dropped and expunged if he completes some form of probation or community service.

Dunn has not filed that application yet but plans to before the Aug. 31 court date. Prosecutors will respond to her request at that time.