New Jersey School Bus Crash

Mack Rosenberg,WCBS 880

Officials: School Bus Driver In Deadly N.J. Crash Had Numerous Past License Suspensions, Tickets

May 22, 2018 - 6:27 pm

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- The man who was driving a school bus that was involved in a crash that left two people dead on Route 80 in New Jersey last week had 14 license suspensions and multiple tickets, CBS News has learned.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission told CBS News the 77-year-old man who was driving the school bus has held a driver's license since 1975 and had a total of 14 license suspensions. Thirteen of the suspensions were for administrative issues not tied to moving violations, while the most recent was for two weeks last December over an unpaid parking ticket, the commission said.

The driver has also received eight speeding tickets, a careless driving ticket, and a ticket for an improper turn back in 2010, the commission said. 

The driver was licensed to drive a school bus starting in 2013. That year, he was cited for not wearing a seatbelt. 

The school bus was one of three headed out for a field trip for students from East Brook Middle School in Paramus this past Thursday.

The bus crashed into a dump truck on Route 80 in Mount Olive. Student Miranda Vargas,10, and teacher Jennifer Williamson, 51, were killed.

A total of 43 others were injured.

Video of the crash apparently shows the bus driver attempted a U-turn by turning from an access road across the interstate when it was hit by a dump truck. 

PHOTOS: Deadly New Jersey School Bus Crash

The video from the New Jersey Department of Transportation has not been made public, but a source who watched it tells CBS News the bus got off at the exit for Waterloo Village, where the students were heading on the field trip, but the driver made a wrong turn and headed back to Interstate 80, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

Then instead of merging onto the highway, he tried to make a sharp left from the access road across three lanes of traffic toward a turnaround that's restricted to official vehicles.

At that point, a dump truck traveling westbound crashed slammed into the rear of the bus, separating the cabin of the yellow bus from its chassis.