1busA school bus driver has been charged over a horror crash which killed six primary school children on their way home from lessons.

The driver, identified as Johnthony Walker, 24, was taken into custody and faces five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving charges, USA Today reported. The bus was carrying pupils from Woodmore Elementary School; the victims are aged between five and 11 years old.

The bus was carrying 35 people when it crashed into a tree and overturned in Chattanooga, Tennessee, around 3.15pm local time. Five children were found dead at the scene while a sixth died in hospital, said a spokeswoman for the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office.

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said 35 people were on the bus and that 23 had been taken to hospital. Two or three are fighting for life and “could go either way”, a spokeswoman added. The last person was freed from the wreckage at around 6pm local time.