Bronx Bus Crash Driver Couldn't Legally Drive

NTSB investigating ex-con Ophadell Williams
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2011 1:19 AM CDT
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaks with emergency personnel investigating the scene of a bus crash on Interstate-95 in the Bronx.   (AP Photo/David Karp)
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(Newser) – The driver involved in the Bronx crash that killed 15 people shouldn't have been behind the wheel of any vehicle, let alone a tour bus full of passengers, officials involved in the probe tell AP. Ophadell Williams' driving privileges were suspended in 1995 and apparently never reinstated after he failed to address charges including speeding and driving without a license, according to officials. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered a probe into how Williams, who has an extensive criminal record, was allowed to get and keep a commercial driver's license.

Williams served three years in prison for manslaughter after fatally stabbing a man 20 years ago and was jailed for three years in 1998 for grand larceny, state records show. His record came under scrutiny after his story that his tour bus was clipped by a tractor-trailer was challenged by witnesses. National Transportation Safety Board investigators are probing Williams' activities in the 72 hours before the deadly crash. "We want to know what he ate, what he drank and how much he slept," says an NTSB official.

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