A 15th person has died from injuries sustained during this weekend’s horrifying bus crash in the Bronx, in which the bus was cut in half by a pole it skidded into. Ophadell Williams, the bus driver, had told officers that the bus had been clipped by a tractor trailer, causing the skid, but according to the New York Post, the trucker denies that, and there have been no marks found on the bus that back up the story.
Survivors say that Williams, operating the World Wide Tours bus from Mohegan Sun back to Chinatown, swerved “repeatedly,” veering off the highway and onto the shoulder of I-95, reports the New York Times.
It turns out that Williams also has a slew of prior charges. In 2003, he was charged with “unlawful possession of radio devices, aggravated unlicensed operator and for driving with a suspended license.” Prior to that, he was arrested for fare evasion, manslaughter, and grand larceny.
Also via the New York Post, two of the crash survivors returned to Mohegan Sun on another World Wide Tours bus after being treated for minor injuries. “I’m the kind of person that believes when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go,” said Bernardo Garcia, whose friend, Miguel Aquino, was killed in the accident. The other, Theodore Radulescu returned to the Bowery Mission to get clean clothes before heading back to the casino:
“When a bomb goes off, it doesn’t go off again in the same spot,” Radulescu reasoned.
Two other gamblers also returned to the casino but wouldn’t talk to the Post about it (perhaps wise, given the scathing comments about the above guys’ perceived gambling problems).
Yet another gambler who was not on the bus, having been distracted by boxing videos on YouTube and a conversation with a friend at the casino, spoke of his good luck.
“I was supposed to be on that bus,” Parada said. “God must have pulled me off.”
Driver involved in deadly bus accident has criminal past; 15th passenger dies from injuries [NYP]
Bus Swerved Repeatedly Before Crash, Riders Say [NYT]
Survivors of Bronx bus crash head back to casino [NYP]