JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (AP) - A grand jury in Washington County has stiffened criminal charges against a former bus driver for the county public schools.
According to the Johnson City Press, the panel Tuesday indicted 54-year-old Brenda Gray on 39 counts of reckless aggravated assault one for each student on the school bus she was driving when it crashed in September.
Among students aboard the bus was Gray's teenage son, who received minor injuries.
Gray had previously been charged with only eight counts as well as 31 counts of a lesser violation felony reckless endangerment.
If she is eventually convicted of the new charges, Gray could face a harsher sentence because of the more serious nature of the indictment.
Investigators believe the bus was traveling 52 to 60 mph when it ran off a road and overturned shortly after leaving David Crockett High School on the afternoon of Sept. 20. The posted speed limit on Mount Wesley Road, where the crash occurred, is 30 mph.
A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper said Gray was distracted by students before the bus ran off the road and rolled. Students said Gray asked them if they wanted to "lose their stomachs" as the bus crested a hill just before the incident.