Coroner: Autopsy shows MCSD bus driver had serious heart disease

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Autopsy results have now been released for the Muscogee County school bus driver who died in a crash that also injured several students back in August 2016.

“He considered himself in good shape that morning,” Muscogee County Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley told News 3 about 67-year-old Roy Newman.

Worley explained that Newman’s autopsy lists atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor to the bus driver’s death. The coroner says Newman’s heart was 90% blocked by plaque and other buildup in his main artery.

“Your heart’s not getting oxygenated and nothing else at 90%,” Worley said.

However, that same autopsy report shows Newman died of blunt force trauma to the head, torso, and other extremities, not directly linked to Newman’s heart problem.Newman’s toxicology report also showed no known tested drugs or alcohol in his system.

“We don’t know whether he hit the steering wheel or object in the vehicle after the wreck, or if something happened with this blockage that caused him to have a wreck,” Worley told News 3. “Those are the two things they don’t really tell us, which came first.”

Worley says he’s going by the autopsy. But he adds that Columbus Police will have the final say in what really happened. News 3 reached out to both the Muscogee County School District, to learn more about Newman’s health, and the Columbus Police Department to learn where this investigation stands. However, neither the school district nor the police department returned our calls or responded to our interview requests.

“That would be up to [Columbus Police’s] determination,” Worley said. “It’s not showing it on our paperwork..”

The Muscogee County District Attorney asked the GBI to investigate last summer’s deadly crash. The GBI was also called upon to investigate an alleged body slamming incident that caused a teen to have his leg amputated. Superior Court Judge Gil McBride recently asked the GBI  to look into alleged criminal activity linked to a settlement in a 2015 crash involving a Columbus Police officer.

It’s noted that the GBI has declined to get involved in two cases (due to ongoing investigations) and is reviewing the officer-involved lawsuit settlement.

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