The family of a New Jersey teacher who died when the school bus she was riding crashed into a dump truck has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against both drivers, as well as local and state officials.
Social studies teacher Jennifer Williamson of Paramus, and fifth-grader Miranda Vargas were killed in the May 2018 crash on Route 80 in Mount Olive. Dozens of East Brook Middle School students were injured.
Williamson’s brother, Douglas, filed a lawsuit on April 30 in which he alleges recklessness, carelessness and negligence led to his sister’s death, NJ.com reported.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include the bus driver, the dump truck driver, his bosses at Mendez Trucking, school officials, Bergen and Morris counties and the state of New Jersey.
State police said bus driver Hudy Muldrow tried to make an illegal U-turn on the highway and that the bus carrying 44 people was broadsided by a dump truck and broke apart. The crash occurred as Muldrow was driving students on a field trip.
Muldrow pleaded guilty in December to reckless vehicular homicide, assault by auto and child endangerment. He was sentenced in February to 10 years in prison, followed by two years of license suspension.
His driving record included at least 16 violations, including eight speeding tickets and at least one improper lane change, five crashes, and 14 license suspensions, according to the suit.
A spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Transportation told NJ.com the agency does not comment on pending litigation. Officials in Bergen and Morris counties did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The owner of Mendez Trucking could not be reached for comment.
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