3 Oct

The driver of a bus traveling from North Carolina to New York City that crashed outside of Richmond in late May has been charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter. The Sky Express discount bus crashed on May 31 along Interstate 95 and killed four women riding the bus.

The final reckless driving charge was recently withdrawn, paving the way for the vehicular manslaughter charges against the 37-year-old driver. According to court records and law enforcement reports, the driver was initially charged only with reckless driving until investigators learned that the man had fallen asleep, causing the bus to lose control.

Passengers on the bus told investigators that he had several cups of coffee and a Red Bull during the trip from North Carolina to the site of the accident. Passengers also said that he seemed very irritable and upset during the trip. The driver allegedly refused to let passengers use the restroom as a wayside rest.

Vehicular manslaughter charges are serious criminal charges. The punishment for a conviction of vehicular manslaughter is often prison time and fines.

Source: Richmond Times Dispatch “Reckless driving charge withdrawn against bus driver in crash that killed four,” Mark Bowes, 10/1/2011