Driver in fatal I-80 school bus crash sentenced to 10 years

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FILE - In this May 17, 2018 file photo, emergency personnel examine a school bus after it collided with a dump truck, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J. A teacher and student were killed and dozens of other children injured after the bus, crossing multiple lanes, was hit by a dump truck from behind and pushed off its frame. The bus driver, Hudy Muldrow, who pleaded guilty in December 2019 to reckless vehicular homicide, assault by auto and child endangerment, faces sentencing Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (Bob Karp/The Daily Record via AP)

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – The driver of a school bus who veered across Interstate 80 in New Jersey after missing an exit and crashed into a dump truck, killing a teacher and a student and injuring dozens of others, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.

Hudy Muldrow, 79, had pleaded guilty in December to reckless vehicular homicide, assault by auto and child endangerment in connection with the May 2018 crash in Mount Olive, about 20 miles east of the Pennsylvania border.

The bus carrying students and teachers from a Paramus middle school merged onto the highway and then headed across three lanes toward a median turnaround limited to official vehicles.

The impact of the crash sheared the bus' frame from its wheelbase. Social studies teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy, 51, and fifth grade student Miranda Vargas, 10, were killed, and dozens of other children were injured.

Wednesday's sentencing took place in a courtroom packed with the two victims' friends and relatives, many of whom read statements to the court.

Among them were Williamson-Kennedy's husband, who read a poem he had written to her, and Miranda's twin sister, Madison.

Muldrow apologized in a brief statement to the court.

At his plea hearing, Muldrow acknowledged recklessly "driving the bus sideways" across three lanes after missing the exit for Waterloo Village, where the group was headed on a field trip.