Tennessee school bus driver convicted in crash that killed 6 children

Johnthony Walker, a school bus driver in Tennessee, was convicted Thursday of criminally negligent homicide in a 2016 crash that killed six children and made headlines nationwide.

The jury found Walker guilty on six counts of criminally negligent homicide, which is less severe than vehicular homicide, for which he initially was charged, Fox Nashville reported.

He was also convicted of 11 counts of reckless aggravated assault, seven counts of assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and the use of a portable device by a school bus driver, the outlet said. Walker faced more than 30 charges in total.

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A file photo of the crashed school bus on the scene of the accident in 2016.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

The former bus driver picked up 37 kids from Woodmore Elementary School on Nov. 21, 2016.

According to an affidavit of complaints, Walker was traveling at high speeds on an unauthorized route when he swerved and hit a mailbox and telephone pole, causing the bus to flip and crash into a tree.

More than 20 students were injured during the crash, in addition to the six who died.

In this Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Johnthony Walker is sworn in during his trial in Judge Don Poole's courtroom at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Chattanooga, Tenn. Walker, a Tennessee school bus driver, is standing trial for a Nov. 21, 2016 bus crash that killed six elementary school children.  (Erin O. Smith/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

Johnthony Walker is sworn in during his trial in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Wednesday.  (Erin O. Smith/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

Prosecutors argued in court on Tuesday that the bus was going 50 mph, which they said was too fast to properly nagivate a narrow road safely. They said Walker drifted into the oncoming lane and tried to overcorrect before the bus ultimately crashed.

They also argued that Walker was using his cellphone when he wrecked the bus, which he denied. Walked also said he was only traveling 35 mph when he reached the curve in the road and another vehicle encroached his lane. That claim was disputed by Chattanooga police officer Joe Warren, who said there was no evidence of a second vehicle in Walker's lane.

Jurors began deliberating in Walker's trial on Wednesday. His sentencing has been scheduled for April 24.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.