Bronx Tour Bus Crash Driver Speaks, Appears To Have Anxiety Attack

Ophadell Williams Says He's 'Hurt By The Whole Situation'

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — On Monday the driver in the tragic tour bus crash that killed 15 people in the Bronx broke his silence.

Ophadell Williams told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman outside of his home in Brooklyn that he’s having a difficult time.

Williams appeared to have an anxiety attack Monday just as his lawyer was starting to say the driver went back to help passengers immediately following the March 12 wreck on I-95.

RELATED: Bronx Tour Bus Crash Driver Has Licenses Suspended | Feds Talking To Driver In Fatal Bronx Bus Crash | Cuomo Asks For Inquiry On How Driver In Bronx Bus Crash Got License | Officials To Analyze Cameras, Control Module & GPS In Deadly Bus Crash

Attorney Howard Lee said Williams “didn’t have the idea of every man for himself. He went to the back of the bus to help start trying to take some of those passengers out and he got some of those passengers out so it’s not like he didn’t have any regard for human life.”

Just then Williams said, “I’m having difficulty breathing… I’m hurt. I’m really hurt. I’m hurt about the whole situation.”

Williams then went back inside. Guzman then turned to his wife.

“I’m with him at night when he’s crying. I’m with him at night with the nightmares. You know, it’s terrible for all. It’s terrible for all of us,” Holly Williams said.

And by “all” she made clear she meant the passengers and their families as well. In all, 32 people besides Williams were on that bus and 15 were killed. And the focus of the investigation has been on Williams — on how someone who did time for manslaughter and who may have lied on his application got a license to drive a tour bus.

“It appears that the authorities are not interested in fact-finding. They’re more interested in assigning blame,” Lee said.

Williams’ lawyer said Williams is sticking to what he first told investigators: that he was cut off by a tractor-trailer, which caused him to swerve. Six victims are still at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. Two are in critical condition. The last victim at St. Barnabas left that hospital on Monday.

Williams is facing criminal charges as New York State continues a bus safety crackdown.

Over the last three days 164 buses were pulled over and inspected, with 41 found to have serious driver or vehicle violations, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

Investigators have said Williams’ license was suspended over infractions he received under the alias, “Eric Williams.” Williams’ attorney has said the driver was unaware that he didn’t have a valid license.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Leonard

    Hate him for falling asleep and negligently causing 15 deaths. Don’t hate him for trying to get a job after he served time in prison.

  • Capt Lou

    True, Mr. Williams was out there making a living, rather then living off of the dole, but doing it under false pretences due to a previous convection. Now to face the music for a second time, just that this time it will be longer due to 15 lives lost.

  • Imaginary Trucker who side-swiped widdle Ophadell

    Ophie is headed back to da joint. Dig the wife’s cool “Jeff Beck” wig!

  • manny zech

    Let the Justice system prevail.

  • Moral Truth

    they are playing the race card and thats the moral truth

    • Mr. Armenia

      M. Truth,

      Will u marry me?

  • Richard T.


  • Richard T.


  • ericm

    Nothing anyone says or does will make any difference to the poor victims of this tragedy. I am so tired of people being judged by the public, instead of allowing justice to take it’s natural course in the court system. This is America folks. Let’s mourn for the dead and injured, and hope the courts get it right.

  • Glenn

    The lawyer states his client was unaware he didn’t have a valid drivers license. Why in the world did he change his name if there wasn’t some sort of problem. People need to wake up and smell the coffee, you just do not go and change your name for no reason. Bring on the criminal charges.

  • Jeff R

    At least Mr Williams had i.D. and his history is known, unlike our President.

  • Robert

    People just don’t get it…once you have a felony conviction you can never drive a commercial vehicle w/ passengers EVER. This man should never been in a position to take anyones life.

  • Pete

    This guy was a time bomb and it exploded. His lies and corrupt and incompetent authorities just delayed the explosion that had to come. Sure, his ass is now on fire, as hopefully he will spend the rest of his life in jail for mass manslaughter. All these fly-by-night bus companies should be shut down permanently, but this will not happen, because they are bringing the sheep to the gambling tables where they are shorn or slaughtered. And the less they are paying for the bus-ride, the more there is left for the operators of the casinos who then pay off the authorities. Simple arithmetic.

  • smh

    Some people are ignorant to this whole situation. He did not have a suspended license at all or a fake license with a fake name. All of this was addressed in the statement by the lawyer. All of this was cleared up. No one knows if he was speeding or not. He got cut off by another truck which caused him to crash. He did not purposely do this. For your information, now a days it is impossible to go tp dmv and get a fake license. You need to many forms of I.D. It is virtually impossible. People please get your facts straight.

    • smh is clueless

      LMAO. You should change your name to clueless! You a relative or something? So a guy that has a history of fatally stabbing someone, forging checks to steal 85K, long history of traffic violations and suspended licenses is most certainly likely to turn out to be totally innocent? Can I have some of what you’re smoking?

  • badman

    where was the DOT all this time? wasn’t it obvious enough that these discount tour bus companies had to be cutting corners? regulators are paid by the taxpayers to protect consumers. they failed miserably and conspicuously.

    this bus driver will probably go to prison, and he deserves it. but there’s a chain of responsibility up through the bus company management and the regulators who license them these people should be held accountable, too.

  • J

    He killed someone, did his time and paid his debt to society. This is an entirely different scenario!

    • jason

      I agree J. you cannot prosecute him twice!

  • Ugh!

    Stop crucifying this guy already! He made mistakes, it was an accident, he did not purposefully crash the bus. He will be held accountable, but this guy is not some animal. He was just a guy doing a job to pay the bills, no matter right or wrong. Some of you want us to feel you are Saints and have never made a mistake, we all do, sometimes something bad happens, most of the time we skate in by feeling lucky and gettign away with doing wrong and stupid stuff our entire life.

    • Oaf A. Dell


      Thank you for standing up for my lack of common sense. I was obviously too tired to drive. So you see, it was NOT my fault. Now, who can I sue?

    • jon

      Williams should never had been driving that bus in the first place. By lying to the dmv and falsely obtaining his license, he knowingly put the lives of all the passenger he ever drove at risk. In this case he basically kill the 15 passengers. You can forgive after the first time but you cannot forgive if it occurs time after time after time. What happened if one of the 15 killed was your brother or sister or mother or father. You would feel differently.

  • EAric G

    He is in deep Doo Doo. He will serve a long jail time.

  • kendra

    i hate to say it but he had know business driving a bus with that bad record of his and how on earth did they let that man lie on his application without any credentials from his former place of employment …that is very sad what happened to those people on that bus and i am really praying for them and there families….

  • Dan Te

    He is playing the race card.

  • victor

    just because he is Black doesn`t make him above the law, he was speeding, had a suspended license, a fake license and probably to tired to drive very good, so that makes him a murderer..and has to face the music…when he was driving he knew he was illegal so let that speak for itself…

  • victor

    so what of anything he says, he had a fake license and another suppended, he is facing a lot of prison time,,so he will say anything to keep his ass out of prison, even if it`s a lame excuse….he knew he was breaking the law but didn`t care and just now he cares and gives excuses….put him in prison for atleast thirty years and one day, for murder….just because he is BLACK doesn`t mean anything, I wouldn`t care if he was white, he has to pay for his intentional mistake…

  • Larry

    Pray for them all.

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