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Paramus Schools Chief: We Didn't Know Crash Driver Had Moving Violations

Paramus Schools Supt. Michele Robinson
Paramus Schools Supt. Michele Robinson Photo Credit: COURTESY: ParkwayPTA.org

Paramus Schools Supt. Michele Robinson insisted the district wasn't aware that the school bus driver involved in a crash that killed a middle school student and teacher last month had an extensive history of violations behind the wheel.

She also demanded that North Jersey Media Group publish a correction to “blatantly inaccurate” reporting.

“As I have said repeatedly, we do not have any information from the state that [Hudy] Muldrow [Sr.] had any moving violations,” Robinson wrote in a letter to parents.

“The driving abstract provided to us by the Motor Vehicle Commission did not reflect that he was an unsafe driver or that he had received any tickets for speeding or reckless driving,” Friday’s letter says. “This is what I have said from the beginning and, despite misleading press reports, it remains true today.”

Robinson referred to a Thursday night story, picked up by other media outlets, “that suggested revelations about Mr. Muldrow’s driving suspension contradicted my statements. In fact, they do not.”

The story, published on NorthJersey.com and in The Record newspaper, cited a Dec. 21, 2017 letter from the state Department of Education’s Criminal History Review Unit to Robinson regarding the state Motor Vehicle Commission’s revocation of Muldrow’s driver’s license.

Muldrow was decertified as a school bus driver and his medical certification had expired, according to the unit’s December letter, which requested that the district respond in writing.

Robinson, in turn, said “the reasons for that suspension had nothing to do with moving violations or his driving ability.”

“Over winter break, when school was still not in session, Mr. Muldrow provided the District with his medical certification, which we forwarded to the state – after which we were notified by the state, both verbally and then in writing, that he was eligible to operate a school bus,” the schools superintendent contended.

Robinson emphasized that she’s “profoundly aware of the responsibility that I have as a member of our community, which is still struggling to come to grips with these awful events,” and is “committed to being forthright and honest with you because of that responsibility.”

Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park has had his license suspended 14 times – six times for unpaid parking tickets – and was summonsed eight times for speeding, records show.

Authorities charged him with two counts of vehicular homicide in the May 17 crash on Route 80 in Mount Olive. He remained free pending a June 25 court appearance.

If convicted of both counts, he could face five to 10 years in state prison, 85% of which he’d have to serve before being eligible for parole.

Muldrow was transporting 44 passengers from East Brook Middle School in the second of three buses headed to Waterloo Village for a class trip.

The drivers missed their turn and somehow became separated, authorities said.

For some reason, they said, Muldrow made his way back to westbound Route 80, headed in the wrong direction.

He then pulled a sharp left from the slow lane of the three-lane highway toward a police-only cutout on the median near the Waterloo Bridge (Exit 25), leaving the bus “positioned in an almost-perpendicular direction in relation to the lanes of travel on Route 80 westbound," the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said in a release.

The driver of the dump truck, which was in the center lane, couldn’t stop in time -- and the truck hit the bus so hard it knocked it off its chassis, authorities said.

Killed were 10-year-old fifth-grader Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson. Several others remain critically or seriously injured.

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