Monday, March 14, 2011

Is the Driver of Deadly Bus Crash That Killed 14 Riders the Same Ophadell Williams Who is a Convicted Killer?


By Nicholas Stix
Updated at 2:49 a.m., on Monday, March 14, 2011.

A man with the same name as the driver who was behind the wheel of the tour bus that went off Interstate 95 in the Bronx at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, killing 14 riders and injuring 18, was a convicted killer and thief. The bus was returning from an all-night gambling trip to Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino. Most or all of the victims were immigrants and illegal aliens from China.

Police records show that an Ophadell Williams, now 40, was convicted of manslaughter in 1992 and served two years in prison. The same man later served an additional four years on a larceny conviction.

“Bus Swerved Repeatedly Before Crash, Riders Say,” by Patrick McGeehan and Joseph Goldstein, New York Times, March 13, 2011.

(I avoided citing an Associated Press story on the same incident, because it was co-authored by Tom “Boosgate” Hays. I am not aware of McGeehan or Goldstein having any “priors.”)

Twice as long for stealing as for killing?

The driver insisted that he had been “clipped” by a passing tractor-trailer, but the surviving riders, as well as witnesses from outside the bus contradicted his claim. Numerous passengers also maintained that the driver had repeatedly swerved onto the highway shoulder, without provocation, suggesting that he had fallen asleep, and suddenly awoken.

The World Wide Tours bus flipped onto its right side, slid 480 feet, and slammed into a sign post, whose pole tore open the top of the bus like a can of sardines.

New York Times reporter Kirk Semple used the immigrant story boilerplate, “They had all come here in pursuit of a better life…”

The Chinese are fanatical gamblers; it’s their one big vice.

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