Lawyer: NYC Bus Driver Sober, Awake Before Crash

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A lawyer for the driver of a tour bus that crashed in New York City and killed 15 people said he was sober and fully awake when the accident happened.

investigators at the scene of the crash Lawyer: NYC Bus Driver Sober, Awake Before Crash

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

Sean H. Rooney told The New York Times driver Ophadell Williams was in control of the bus until a tractor-trailer veered toward it on a highway. He said the driver claims he lost control after swerving to avoid the truck.

Rooney scoffed at reports passengers told police the bus repeatedly swerved onto the highway shoulder before the March 12 crash. He called the reports “nonsense,” adding that says Williams doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs.

Investigators were looking into whether Williams was asleep or distracted as he drove from a casino in Uncasville, Conn. Williams hasn’t been charged.

Williams spoke with CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman outside of his Brooklyn home on Monday, appearing to have suffered an anxiety attack recalling the crash.

Investigators have said Williams’ license was suspended over infractions he received under the alias, “Eric Williams.”

Whom do you believe is at fault for the crash? Let us know below…

  • Chayah777

    The DMV should be investigated. There is a lot of under-handed goings on with a lot of the newly-sworn in Americans…Yes thets what I said…I know this for a fact…people will do anything for a few extra dollars …with the financial collapswe we are in now, things will get more crroked…#2 -The driver served time for his wriong-doings , people in this coutnry are full of it…

  • Trish

    Ophadell has a history and that’s the reason he is being investigated. The district attorney’s office is only interested in winning and not the truth. Shame, many people end up in prison or on provation and never given a chance to rebuild their lives again.

  • Pete

    Ophadell probably will go to jail, but this will solve nothing. The bus companies will declare bankruptcy and open up shop somewhere else under a different name. And the Casinos will get their sheep to shear as usual. We taxpayers will be stuck with expensive court trials, which will go on for years as TV entertainment, and end up in a Dead End Street, but The Beat Will Go On, and go on.

  • Adowe Osman

    I think he should be tried in the media. Let CBS put up one of their polls and whatever we vote on will be binding.

  • Trishe

    Don’t cast any stones until the whole truth comes out.

    • Moral Truth

      sure Tirish and thats the moral truth

  • Yay!

    Gosh, if a lawyer tells us his client is a saint, we should believe it!

  • Moral Truth

    People like Ophadell Williams should not be driving buses. Most of them have suspended licenses and police records and thats the moral truth.

    • C.J.

      Those people drive like animals.

  • John

    Like this tragedy is a surprise .Why isn’t the NYPD cracking down on all the Livery Van drivers on Flatbush ave in Brooklyn as they drive like manics and cut people off daily.Instead they pull over old people driving and cell phone users because that’s politically correct to harass the working class.

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