NEW YORK Dec 7 Jurors on Friday said they
cleared New York bus driver Ophadell Williams of all counts
except unlicensed driving in the deadly Bronx crash that killed
The verdict, reached on Thursday but not read until Friday
in a highly unusual legal move, came in the second week of
deliberations at the manslaughter trial of Williams, 41, of
Brooklyn in state Supreme Court in the Bronx.
The horrific predawn crash on Interstate 95 in March 2011
triggered a federal and state crackdown on bus operators,
including proposed tough new measures to fit vehicles with
speed-limiting devices and to require companies to get 10 years
of driving records from potential employees.
Prosecutors said Williams, whose driving record included 18
suspensions over two decades, was overly tired when his speeding
bus hit a guardrail, flipped onto its side and skidded into a
highway sign support pole, sheering off the roof. Of the 32
passengers aboard, 15 died and 15 were injured, some severely.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Paul Thomasch)