Loved Ones Mourn Teacher Killed in New Jersey Bus Crash During Somber Funeral

Jennifer Williamson was killed along with a fifth grader from a Paramus middle school.

A week after a New Jersey community was devastated by the sudden loss of a beloved teacher and young student, mourners came together to celebrate their lives.

A funeral for Jennifer Williamson was held Thursday in Paramus, where the 51-year-old taught at East Brook Middle School until a deadly bus crash during a field trip last week.

"It's really hard to accept that she's gone," a seventh grader named Sophia told CBS New York. "She loved all of her students. She was nice to everyone. She really helped other students."

Williamson had taught at the school for 20 years. Students said she was so dedicated that she'd spend her lunch break with them.

A vigil was attended by thousands at the school's football field Thursday as friends, loved ones and community members gathered to remember Williamson, as well as 10-year-old fifth-grader Miranda Vargas.

As the healing continues, so too does the investigation into how these untimely deaths occurred.

The bus driver has been identified as Hudy Muldrow Sr., a 77-year-old man with a reported 14 prior suspensions on his license.

According to a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission spokesperson, Muldrow's license was valid at the time of the crash and he had no active points on the commercial license that allowed him to drive a school bus. 

WABC reports the suspensions date back to when he first got his license in 1975, as do eight speeding tickets. 

Per the station, Muldrow's license was most recently suspended in 2017 and restored this year. He's reportedly been driving buses since 2013.

On Thursday, Muldrow was charged in last week's deaths after an affidavit alleges he "disregarded the marked No Turn sign and turned Bus #2 to the left in an apparent attempt to gain access to an official-use only access point located between the East and Westbound lanes of Route 80."

Muldrow faces two charges of vehicular homicide.

Muldrow's attorney, Matthew Reisig, released a statement Thursday after turning his client over to prosecutors.

"While we understand that this accident and its tragic consequences are a matter of considerable public interest, my client has faith in the criminal justice system and reiterates his presumption of innocence," the statement said.