Feds Talking To Driver In Fatal Bronx Bus Crash

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Authorities were still trying to determine what led to this weekend’s horrific bus crash in the Bronx. Federal investigators were talking to the driver on Tuesday.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell: New Info On The Driver’s Background

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond: Update on the Injured

investigators at the scene of the crash Feds Talking To Driver In Fatal Bronx Bus Crash

Investigators at the scene of the crash (credit: CBS 2)

“We’re hearing so many stories, conflicting oftentimes, and we need to get to the bottom of that,” said Christopher Hart, NTSB Vice Chairman.

Federal investigators were focusing on what the driver was doing in the three days leading up to Saturday’s accident.

“We’ll want to know what he ate, what he drank, how much he slept, everything we can find out about the driver in the 72 hours prior,” Hart said.

Much more was already known about the driver’s background in the three days following the accident. Ophadell Williams, 40, had several convictions on his criminal record, including driving with a suspended license in 2003, grand larceny in 1998 and a manslaughter conviction in 1992.

In his initial statements to investigators, Williams said he was clipped by a tractor trailer while returning from the Mohegan Sun Casino, causing him to lose control and the bus to skid into a highway sign post.

The post sliced the top off the bus and killed 15 passengers.

Even as his friends were raising the possibility that Williams may have dozed off, they said if he did, he was probably working overtime to support his family.

“He’s scared to death man, you know? He’s crying cause, you know, he hurt some people,” said Mel Davis, Williams’ friend.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered an investigation into how Williams was able to hold a commercial driver’s license while he had a criminal record.

What do you think? Leave a comment below…

CBS 2 Reports On Conflicting Stories

CBS 2’s Lou Young reports On Tour Bus Safety

  • Mel

    You big mouths need to stop rushing to judgement. What does his criminal past have to do with the accident? Have you ever had an accident? Was is because you had a known criminal history? I bet many of the big mouths have done plenty a things that if found out could classify them as criminals as well and i am sure they are driving around and driving others around too. I feel heart-sick about what happened with respect to the victims as well as the driver. My prayers are with all .

    • Svlad Cjelli

      He stabbed someone to death. Get with it, Mel.

      • Svlad Cjelli

        I wish we could shove every murderer off this rock!

  • a driver

    In this day and age, if you want to buy anything, including driver’s licenses, you can. This story reminds me of a few years ago when Spitzer wanted to allow illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses.

    • Svlad Cjelli

      Does this have ANYTHING to do with this story, or do you just hate illegals?

  • susan

    This is the fault of the bus company
    for putting someone like him behind the
    wheel of a bus end endangerging the
    lifes of so many people
    This company should be put out of

  • joe

    nyc taxi and car service drivers are checked by the TLC for criminal record before license issued.this.
    bus leave at 3:45 AM it is hard drive for anyone no matter when you slept last.either you were awake thru the night or you woke up early (with not enough sleeping hours) the schedule is the first point to be corrected.
    also most (not all) busses speed on the highway and a tired driver always speed. if you are on such bus and you see the driver eyes red and close from time to time comand him to STOP or call 911.

  • Cory

    Guy is getting a lot of support. Murder, theft, and now killing 15 people……..ah, let’s give him another chance.

    How do you do 2 years in jail for stabbing someone to death? The justice system is broken.

    Can’t wait to see the results of this 3 year trial. He won’t do any real time and he is on 16 killed (known).

    • Devenio

      If someone were attacking you and in defending yourself you stab someone to death, would you want the death penalty? No idiot. The legal system should go easy on you if the evidence shows that in fact you were defending yourself. Also – there is no such thing as a Justice system.

      • Svlad Cjelli

        If you can’t leave the knife at home, you deserve to go to jail for being a wuss.

  • Devenio

    Why would having a criminal record stop you from obtaining a CDL?

    • JR

      It does not in most cases. Usually only motor vehicle issues would prevent you from getting a CDL.

  • tom

    People,why are you defending him? He lied right away!

  • E Dawg

    This lifetime criminal hood has no business in control of other peoples lives…..he can’t even contol his own life.

    Convicted Fellon = no drive a bus. Washing dishes is safer for this fool.

    You ever see a face like that before???

    He was angry and driving aggressive. I see these suckers angry and raging all the time.

    • ron c. mcqueen

      What are the FEDS waiting for? He should finally be charged with thirteen counts
      of manslaughter ASAP. This bus company Worldwide Tours should be pust out of business as well forthwith.

      • Devenio

        Good thing we don’t lock people up based on feelings Ron C. McQueen. All your evidence comes from the media – this is not evidence. Grow and and learn the real world.

      • badman

        YEAH arrrrglglglghgglltlrrrr RAGE RAGE RAGE! me want blood

  • W

    Murderer, lying scmbag, 8 years in jail. As George Steinbrenner said in Seinfeld. HIRE THIS MAN!!!

  • Kay

    Intestate laws must be strengthened, and that may conflict with state law re drivers licence issues. But private transportation companies do not have the power to “police” busses they hire as private charter.

    There is really no reason why he should be driving this bus.

    Was it an accident that he was speeding? I think not.

  • Benny

    This guy already had his 2nd chance for manslaughter and his 3rd chance also – he ripped off the Police Athletic League for $85K or so.

  • TheWatchr

    his criminal history has nothing to do with the accident…so most of u are saying since he’s a convicted criminal he can’t drive his kids to the park? Or get a job to support his family or breathe the same air as u? seriously, what ever happened to giving people a 2nd chance? isn’t that the whole concept of paying for your crime & doing time? if he was speeding, then that’s on him, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with his past convictions…how many people here speed & have no records? how many people have gotten into fatal accidents while drunk that had no prior criminal history?

    • sally rogers

      Agree. This whole accident is a tragedy. I hope his past won’t taint the investigation. Guy is holding down a low paying job trying to support his family and was most likely pushed to stay on schedule by his bus company. Its all very sad.

      • Ernest

        What past, you mean that small little killing in 92 or the grand larceny in 98, or the suspended license in 2000 which one Sal?

    • William

      Of course he has the right to get his life back on track and make a living or drive a car. I just think that people are downplaying the resposibility that a busdriver has. Those passangers’ lives where literally in his hands. I don’t think that a man with a violent past(manslaughter), should have so many people’s lives in those same hands.. There are MANY other jobs where you can’t effect whether people live or die…

  • steve

    The investigation should widen to review the background of all the drivers. Many of these tour operators are small companies flying under the radar of governmental supervision and regulation. You put your trust in the driver every time you step onto a bus, but who is watching out for you?

  • Erma

    My prayers go out to the family of the victims and the bus drivers family everyone have to live with mistakesw they make but if he was working too many hours his company has to be at fault always because they know the rules when you have CDL licenses you are really not suppose to work over 10 hrs a day. You can’t blame someone thats trying to take care of thier family, and if he was too tired he should had never left the casino.

  • p8nt

    The driver’s criminal record really has nothing to do with preventing the crash from happening. All it does is serve as ammo for the prosecutor to challenge the credibility of the driver’s testimony. If he shouldn’t have gotten a CDL license due to a criminal record, then what about all the taxi drivers in NYC? I really love how politicians like to get on the spotlight saying we found something highly irrelevant to this case, but look here it is and all of you should be outraged by it.
    Fact of the matter is that the agency that’s suppose to keep the public safe is not doing their job!

  • DK

    This guy should feel terrible for what he did. YES it’s also a huge error that his record wasn’t checked thouroughly before he was issued a commerical license. Many times, illegals/ or aliens, find ways to manipulate the system and manage to get through major hurdles in unconventional ways. This may be one of those situations. Regardless, the families of the victims will have to live with this pain forever. God bless them all and give them strength.

  • Mr. Armenia

    If you get on a bus that is driven by a convicted felon then you put your life at risk

    • DK

      WOW! That’s a ridiculous coment!! NONE NEW HE WAS A CONVICTED FELON! Maybe you chould read the news before you make a silly comment like that.

      • Mr. Armenia

        Your spelling stinks!

    • 1608

      U’ve gone from dumb to down right STUPID. Get some rest & come back nx wk

    • William

      Your comments are becoming more derisory as time goes on. You must really be a piece of work in person. You wouldn’t make a comment like that if your best friend and his wife or your daughter and son in law was killed in that accident. Those poor people’s deaths crushed their loved ones emotionally. I guess we can always count on your intelligent philosophy….. and now spelling corrections– by the way, our language still requires punctuations to properly form sentences. Wise ass!!

    • Devenio

      All of you comments stink Mr. Armenia.

      • Charles

        He’s probably just a nose picking hermit that spends his whole day forming these childish comments!!

  • wayne morris

    i mean dont you think this guy feels bad enough,thats something he has to live with forever.and about the comercial license if he wouldnt have gotten into an accident they wouldnt even have found out

    • Nick

      If he’s at fault, he should live with it the rest of his life. The families of the victims have to live with it, so why should we feel bad about him? Again, that’s if he’s at fault.

    • Teri

      Of course he feels bad, as does anyone who accidently causes someones death, but he still has to be held accountable as anyone would.

      As for the commercial license, don’t blame him for having obtained one with his record, blame the people who issued it!

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