Tallahassee woman gets 5 years for deadly school bus crash

Tallahassee By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 17, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) - A Tallahassee woman convicted of driving drunk and crashing into a school bus full of students was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.

A judge sentenced Sarah Walker to five years in prison followed by ten more years on community control and probation.

Walker was found guilty last year in the 2014 death of bus driver Rusty Fowler.

Fowler was driving the Florida High track team back from a track meet
when Walker crashed into their bus near the corner of Apalachee Parkway and Conner Boulevard. Fowler died behind the wheel and several students were hurt.

Fowler's family had asked for ten years in prison, but the judge granted what is called a "downward departure," ruling this was an isolated incident for which Walker had shown remorse.

"It was a long haul to get justice," prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said. "I'm still pleased with the outcome, but disappointed in the length of time she'll spend in prison."

During the trial, prosecutors presented blood tests that showed Walker was still legally drunk seven hours after the crash.

"Today hopefully brought closure for the court process for both families. This case was no doubt tragic for each side as demonstrated by the outpouring of love and support from everyone in the courtroom." Sarah Walker's attorney Aaron Wayt said. "The sentence was consistent with other people in Ms. Walker’s position who have no criminal history and have shown remorse, something Ms. Walker has shown since the night the accident happened."

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