Bus Driver Speaks

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 8:14am

Bus driver behind the wheel during a fatal wreck in New York speaks out.

A bus driver who was behind the wheel during a devastating crash says he's hurting, and is having a tough time. 15 people died when the tour bus wrecked on I-95 earlier this month.

Bus driver Ophadell Williams had a difficult time speaking with us in front of his Brownsville home about the crash that killed 15 people. He said just a few words before going back inside. His wife also wanted to speak, saying her family is devastated by the loss of life.

Holly Williams says "the victims, those families, are hurting. We're all hurting together. It's not to say my husband is not remorseful. I'm remorseful."

At the home, the family wants it known he did what he could to save those trapped inside.

Howard Lee, the attorney for Williams, says "he was able to somehow crawl out of that bus and get to the back of the bus and start trying to save some of those passengers."

And, they say, Williams stands by his claim that a truck cut him off. Investigators have said they're looking into whether Williams was nodding off and speeding while behind the wheel the night of the crash.

An official said his driving privileges in New York had long been revoked. But defense lawyers say past driving infractions dating to when Williams was a teenager had been dismissed. And he believed he had the proper license to be behind the wheel.

Sean Rooney an attorney for Williams says "a check of the DMV records will show that all of those violations that they're talking about, from when he was 16 and and age 19 have been dismissed."

His attorneys say Williams had turned his life around since past run-ins with police, and they say he was a good employee for world wide tours.

As for Williams, last week he was seen in tears in the aftermath of the crash. This day, his lawyer said he feels for those passengers.

Williams has not been charged in connection with the crash.

He met with National Transportation Safety Board investigators last week.


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