Posted Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and New Jersey State Police Acting Superintendent Patrick Callahan are announcing criminal charges related to a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred on May 17 on Route 80 in Mt. Olive Township.

Morris County Prosecutor's logoHudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, New Jersey has been charged with two counts of Reckless Vehicular Homicide/Death by Auto, which is a second degree crime.

It is alleged that on the morning of May 17, Muldrow, while acting as a school bus driver for the Paramus School District, operated a school bus (Bus #2) scheduled for a student-teacher trip to Waterloo Village in Byram Township, Sussex County.

The school bus was occupied with students and teachers from East Brook Middle School.  Among the passengers were Miranda Vargas, a 5th grade student at East Brook Middle School, and Jennifer Williamson Kennedy, a teacher at East Brook Middle School.

The investigation has revealed that Bus #2, as well as two other buses, left the school on the morning of May 17 en route to Waterloo Village.  Shortly after 10 a.m., the three buses exited Interstate 80 West at exit 25 onto Route 206 North.Morris Prosecutor: School Bus Driver Charged with Death by Auto in May 17 Fatal Crash on Route 80 in Mt. Olive       

It is believed that shortly thereafter, the three buses missed a turn that would have taken them to Waterloo Village.  It is further believed that the three buses drove in an effort to correct their route.  Bus #3 detached from the other two buses and arrived safely at Waterloo Village.  Thereafter, it is believed that Bus #2 (operated by Muldrow), separated from Bus #1.  Bus #1 eventually arrived safely at Waterloo Village.

The investigation has further revealed that after Bus #1 and Bus #2 separated, Bus #2 travelled on Route 206 South towards the on ramp leading to Route 80 Westbound.

At or near the point of entry onto Route 80 Westbound from the on ramp, Muldrow is alleged to have turned Bus #2 to the left in an apparent attempt to gain access to the official-use only access point located between the East and Westbound lanes of Route 80.

As part of this maneuver, it is alleged that Muldrow turned his bus so that it was positioned in an almost-perpendicular direction in relation to the lanes of travel on Route 80 Westbound.  Route 80 Westbound in this area is a three lane highway.

At this time, Bus #2 was impacted by a dump truck that was travelling in the center lane of Route 80 Westbound.  As a result of the impact, the bus was struck, redirected, and came to rest in the center median.

At approximately 10:20 a.m., on the date of the incident, law enforcement was notified.  Upon arrival of first responders, Bus #2 was discovered laying on its left side in the median of the roadway.  The body of the bus  had detached from the chassis of the vehicle due to the force of the impact with the dump truck.

Further investigation revealed that the crash resulted in two fatalities, specifically the deaths of M.V. and J.W.  In addition, the crash resulted in numerous injuries to other occupants.  The driver of the dump truck also sustained various injuries.  The full extent of the non-fatal injuries has yet to be determined, but range from minor to multiple serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.

As a result of this incident, Hudy Muldrow has been charged with two counts of Reckless Vehicular Homicide/Death by Auto, wherein he is alleged to have recklessly operated Bus #2, thereby causing the deaths of M.V. and J.W.  At this time, the investigation into this incident remains active and ongoing, and additional charges may be sought in the future.

The criminal complaints in this matter were sworn to by New Jersey State Police Detective I Daniel Wojcik, a member of the New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit – North Squad.  This matter continues to be jointly investigated by the New Jersey State Police and the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Judge Stephen J. Taylor, Criminal Presiding Judge of the Superior Court – Morris/Sussex Vicinage, authorized the charges against Muldrow this morning.

Muldrow will be lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending his First Appearance, which is likely to be scheduled for Friday, May 25, at the Morris County Courthouse.

Inquiries should be directed to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro 973-829-8159.