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Bus Driver Convicted Of Manslaughter In Crash That Killed 4

CITYROOM-BUS-blog480.jpg Bus driver Kin Yiu Cheung put his passengers through a harrowing ordeal last year as he swerved from side to side, sped and erratically drove along a Virginia highway. According to passengers, Cheung was drinking coffee and Red Bull energy drinks before he finally fell asleep and lost control of the bus. “It was almost as if you’re on a roller-coaster ride,” said one passenger. The crash killed four passengers and injured dozens more.

Cheung was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter; the judge characterized his benhavior as “‘so gross and wanton’ that he had no choice but to find him guilty.” Fifteen crash survivors testified at trial as did a police officer that stated at the accident scene, Cheung confirmed he had fallen asleep at the wheel. Another witness testified that she heard Cheung on the phone while he was driving complaining that he does not get enough sleep. Cheung’s attorney argued that this was a horrible accident, not a case of criminal negligence. The prosecution argued that Cheung knew he was having trouble staying alert for up to an hour before the crash. “That man had a legal duty of care to those passengers and that’s a factor in this case,” the prosecution argued. Cheung faces up to forty years in prison.

In July, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded driver fatigue was the most probable cause for the crash. The Board noted that Cheung had “limited opportunities for quality sleep in the days leading up to the accident.” At the time of the crash, the Transportation Department was in the process of shutting down the bus company, but the company had been given ten days to appeal its poor safety rating. After the accident, government officials shut down more than twenty bus companies for safety violations in what has been dubbed “the largest single federal crackdown on this industry.”

Bus driver convicted in crash that killed 4 in Va, www.miamiherald.com November 08, 2012.


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