NEW JERSEY–An elderly school bus driver received a 10-year prison sentence on Wednesday. His illegal U-Turn on Interstate 80 resulted in a horrifying crash that killed a 10-year-old student and a teacher.
Hudy Muldrow, 79, had to sit and listen to the heartbroken relatives of those who lost their lives in the school bus crash.
On the day of the crash in May 2018, Muldrow was driving students and teachers to a field trip from a Paramus middle school. A dump truck collided with his school bus. The crash killed 10-year-old Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy, 51.
The crash was so violent that the frame of the bus tore right off of its wheelhouse, which accident lawyers could easily attest never should have happened.
Before Muldrow received his sentence, the twin sister of the 10-year-old victim told him, “I hope you rot in jail.”
Her mother, Lorena Vargas, said “My heart’s destroyed because of one careless act of a man. Every single night I relive that horrible day. That day I died as well.”
The grandfather of the young victim, Rev. Johnny Rivera, said to the defendant, “Mr. Muldrow, I forgive you. I have to. Deep down inside, I have to. Do I have to accept what you have done? Absolutely not. Forgiveness and acceptance are two different things.”
Dolores Williamson, the mother of the teacher who was killed, confronted Muldrow over his decision to make a U-turn that day.
“Everything you can do was taken away from my precious daughter. You took that all away. My heart is broken and my family is shattered and sad.”
Hudy Muldrow admitted to the court that he was “driving the bus sideways” when he attempted to make a U-turn after he missed his exit.
He also pleaded guilty to assault by auto and child endangerment and reckless vehicular homicide. Muldrow cut a plea deal with prosecutors before the sentencing. They say that in order for him to become eligible for parole, he must first serve a minimum of five years.
Muldrow apologized to the crowded courtroom, saying, “I’m sorry. I have a lot of remorse and I loved those kids that I was driving.”