The driver of a Sky Express bus involved in a deadly crash last May has been convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the crash that killed four people and injured dozens more. Witnesses testified that for about an hour leading up to the crash, the driver was drinking coffee and Red Bull energy drinks and driving the bus erratically on Interstate 95, just outside of Richmond, VA. He then fell asleep, still driving. The bus swerved off the highway, hit an embankment and overturned.
According to a report on ABC7, a State Trooper testified that the overturned bus was still rocking when she arrived on the scene and the defendant admitted he fell asleep at the wheel. The trial judge told the defendant that his conduct was "so gross and wanton," he had no choice but to find him guilty. A report conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board found that driver fatigue was most likely the cause of the crash. They also found that the bus company, Sky Express, had no regard for passenger safety and had previously cited the company for numerous safety violations. The NTSB has since shut the company down.
The North Carolina Injury Lawyer Perspective:
Testimony was given at the trial by witnesses who overheard the driver on his cell phone, complaining he had little turnaround time between the trip from North Carolina to New York. The driver has been found legally responsible for this fatal crash by not pulling over when he realized how tired he was and having a difficult time staying awake. But the company may also be held responsible because they scheduled this driver to turn around and return so quickly after making the New York to North Carolina run.
Victims and victims families should consult with a North Carolina injury lawyer to find out what compensation they may be entitled to for all their pain and suffering. Claims might be made against not only the driver, but also the bus company.
Interstate 95, Richmond VA