MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It was a field trip tragedy that devastated the Paramus school district. A fifth grader and a teacher were killed.

The school bus driver charged in last year’s deadly crash on Route 80 appeared in court Monday.

Hudy Muldrow walked freely in and out of the Morris County courthouse Monday for his arraignment. He’s out on bail.

(Credit: CBS2)

The 78-year-old was driving a group of Paramus fifth graders to a field trip last May when his school bus collided with a dump truck.

The impact killed 10-year-old Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson. Their families sat in the courtroom today with other friends and family members wearing “Paramus strong” navy shirts, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.

Muldrow faces two counts of reckless vehicular homicide and 41 counts of assault by auto.

(Photo credits: Marrocco Memorial Chapel / Vander Plaat Memorial Home)

Authorities said Muldrow missed a turn and was making an illegal U-turn on the busy Route 80 highway to correct the mistake when he crashed.

His lawyer says that’s not the case, and that Muldrow “pleads not guilty to the indictment and also the quasi-criminal complaints and motor vehicle offenses as well.”

Muldrow’s attorney previously said Muldrow was merging onto Route 80, heard a loud horn – and that’s all he remembers.

After the deadly wreck, CBS2 learned Muldrow was driving with a suspended license due to unpaid parking tickets, and his license had previously been suspended more than a dozen times.

A trial date was set for Oct. 7.

Following the crash, New Jersey lawmakers enacted a law requiring all new school buses be equipped with three point seatbelts which cross passengers’ laps and shoulders.

  1. Terry Mi says:

    How could anyone have a 78 year old person drive a school bus?

    I’m only 74 and of good mind, but I would never drive a school bus.

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