The Houston Chronicle has reported that the driver of a Sky Express bus involved in a deadly crash in May 2011 will be spending the next six years in prison after being sentenced to 40 years with 34 years suspended for his conviction. Kin Yiu Cheung was convicted last our-11-of counts of involuntary manslaughter in the crash that killed four people and injured dozens more. The bus had departed from Greensboro, N.C., and was on its way to New York when the accident occurred on Interstate 95, about 30 miles outside of Richmond, VA.
Passengers had testified at Cheung’s trial that they overheard him on his cell phone, complaining that he had no turnaround time to rest between bus trips. There was also witness testimony about the defendant’s behavior leading up to the crash, describing how he was drinking coffee and energy drinks and driving the bus erratically on the highway. He then fell asleep while still driving the bus. The vehicle swerved off the highway, hit an embankment and overturned. A state trooper had testified at trial that when she asked the defendant if he had fallen asleep while driving, he nodded.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that it was driver fatigue which most likely was the cause of the crash. The NTSB also cited the bus company, Sky Express, for having no regard for passenger safety. The company had a history of numerous safety violations. The NTSB has since shut Sky Express down.
If you or a family member has been injured in a mass transit accident, contact an experienced Texas personal injury attorney to find out what civil liability the transportation company may have.