What Was Driver of Deadly Crash Doing Behind the Wheel?

Nick Fishman

According to ABC News the driver of the casino gambling tour bus that crashed on a New York highway Saturday, killing 15 people, had a history of driving without a license and other vehicular offenses and served nearly seven years for manslaughter and grand larceny.

Now to be fair, we don’t know if the driver did anything illegal to cause the crash, but with the aforementioned convictions (especially the driving offenses), what was this person doing driving a tour bus?  Didn’t anyone perform a criminal background check or check his motor vehicle record?

Check out the story below.

The driver of the casino gambling tour bus that crashed on a New York highway Saturday, killing 15 people, had a history of driving without a license and other vehicular offenses and served nearly seven years for manslaughter and grand larceny.

Ophadell Williams, also known as Eric Williams, told police a tractor trailer rear-ended the bus, triggering the crash, but according to multiple sources, State Police investigators have repeatedly gone over the truck without finding anything linking it to the crash.

With lack of evidence casting further doubt on the driver’s version of events, National Transportation Safety Board officials said they will again interview him.

Williams has a string of arrests and convictions that included charges in 2003 of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license and unlawful possession of radio devices and police scanners.

According to New York State Department of Corrections records, Williams was convicted of manslaughter in April 1992. He served three years in jail, including 361 days before being convicted.

In 1998 he was convicted of grand larceny in Manhattan and served four years in state prison, from April 21, 1998 to May 15, 2002. He had also served 106 days of city jail time on that charge.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state inspector general will begin an investigation of how a man with Williams’ criminal record and driving history could have gotten a commercial driver’s license.

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Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
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