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Bus driver's mother to CNN: Deadly crash was "God's will"

Images: Hamilton County Jail / WTVC

UPDATE:

WZTV in Nashville obtained Walker's driving record from the Department of Homeland Security.

The report says Walker's driver's license had been suspended in 2014 due to failure to provide proof of insurance following a car crash. The paperwork reflects Walker was involved in a property damage accident on October 21, 2013. Walker failed to show proof of insurance, leading to his license being suspended from March 3, 2014 through March 28, 2014 before being reinstated.

The report also says Walker was issued his Class B license in 2011 and wears corrective lenses

ORIGINAL STORY:

The mother of 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, the Hamilton County school bus driver charged with reckless endangerment in connection with Monday's deadly school bus crash that killed 5 students from Woodmore Elementary, tells CNN that she believes the crash was "God's will."

CNN reports she says Walker told Gwenevere Cook, "Momma I love you. I have been in a drastic accident and he tried to tell me what was what. The police took the phone away, " she said.

"He was trying to get (the children) off the bus -- all the bodies were limp," Cook said. "There was blood everywhere."

"He texted me minutes later saying the kids are dead," she said.

CNN provided NewsChannel 9 with details of the letter, including quotes from Cook:

"A word of comfort to whom it may concern. I'm being the mother of Johnthony Walker would love to say, my heart of love is going out for all that was in harm's way of God's will. Sending out mine and our condolences to every family that God touched yesterday in this horrible accident. And I am asking for compassion also for my son Johnthony Walker."

Cook said she is currently talking to a bondsman.

Cook said of her son, "He is a marvelous son. For two years he worked two jobs. He's never been in trouble before. He is a respected young man, grew up in Chattanooga and is liked by everyone."

She says Walker told her he was trying to get the children off the bus, but all the bodies were limp. She says he told her there was blood everywhere. She adds that he has been cooperating with the police.

"This is a horrible accident. But this was God's will and all we can do is try to get through it with God's grace. It is a horrible nightmare. I feel bad for my son and I am torn up for the family members. All this is new to us. He was trying to get kids off the bus but there was so much blood. When he talked to me he was terrified He told me I've been in an accident, he was trying to get this kids off the bus," Cook said."

According to Cook, Walker is a father to a 3-year-old son.

Read the full police affidavit on the crash, which says Walker appears to have been speeding at the time of the crash.

Walker has no prior criminal record in Chattanooga, or in Tennessee.

He is now in the Hamilton County Jail on a $107,500 bond. His first appearance in court is scheduled for Tuesday, November 29.

Walker was an employee of Durham School Services.

Durham services sent us this statement regarding the crash:

We can confirm that, this afternoon, our school bus coming from Woodmore Elementary was involved in an accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the students and families who are affected. Because this is an active investigation, we are unable to answer any questions at this time as we work with authorities.

Durham sent out a statement later in the morning:


This is a developing story. Depend on us for updates as we get them.

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