PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There are questions surrounding the driver of the school bus that crashed into a dump truck last week on a New Jersey highway, killing two people and injuring more than 40.
While he has driven school buses and charters for decades, he also has violations in his past.
As authorities continue to investigate the crash site where a teacher and student lost their lives, the 77-year-old retired driver of that bus, Hudy Muldrow Sr., is still recovering at a hospital. His son, Hudy Muldrow Jr., told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner exclusively on Monday his dad has injuries to his shoulder, leg and stomach, but is conscious and alert.
“He’s in pain. He’s talking. He said that he was sorry that two people lost their lives,” Hudy Muldrow Jr. said.
Sources told CBS2 that Muldrow Sr. was driving a bus full of children and teachers on Route 80 in Mount Oliver when he missed an exit. He then tried to make an illegal U-turn, and was struck by a dump truck.
“I said, ‘Dad, you know, I’m hearing stories that you made an illegal U-turn,’ and as far as that I didn’t get no answer,” Hudy Muldrow Jr. said, later clarifying, “He told me he didn’t do it.”
A spokesperson with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission confirmed that Muldrow Sr.’s license is not suspended, but he has a long history of issues. His license was suspended twice, including as recently as this past December, for not paying parking tickets, and in 2012 for administrative reasons. That means he either had no motor vehicle insurance or a cancelled registration. In addition, he was cited eight times for speeding between 1975 and 2001, and has been involved in a crash at least once before, but it’s not clear if he was the driver or the passenger.
Muldrow Sr. has no history of driving under the influence. His son said the father of 10 is a good person.
“He would definitely go the extra length to help someone in need,” Hudy Muldrow Jr. said.
A law enforcement source told CBS2’s Rozner that Muldrow Sr. is cooperating with investigators. Blood work was done to test for alcohol and drugs.
Rozner reached out to the Paramus schools superintendent about the screening process for bus drivers, but she did not respond. The dump truck company also did not return CBS2’s calls.