NEW YORK – A casino bus driver at the helm of a New York crash that killed 15 people last year was found not guilty of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide on Friday.
Ophadell Williams was found guilty on one count of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
Williams wept and covered his face with his hands as the verdict was read. On the one count he was found guilty of, the judge sentenced him to 30 days in prison, which he has served. He also has to pay a fee of $500.
Prosecutors alleged he was so exhausted it was as though he was drunk behind the wheel.
Defense Attorney Patrick Bruno says Williams was well-rested and the crash was the result of a tractor-trailer that swiped the bus and drove off, causing Williams to lose control.
Williams was driving from a Connecticut casino to New York's Chinatown when the bus crashed around 5:30 a.m. on March 12, 2011.
Authorities say the speeding bus ran off the highway, hit a guardrail, then toppled. A sign pole sheared off the roof.