BOWLING GREEN, Va. -- The driver of a bus that crashed last year while traveling to New York City, killing four passengers and injuring dozens of others, was convicted Thursday of four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Kin Yiu Cheung faces up to 40 years in prison at his sentencing Jan. 23.
Caroline County Circuit Judge Joseph Ellis told Cheung that his conduct was “so gross and wanton,” he had no choice but to find him guilty in the May 31, 2011, crash on Interstate 95 about 30 miles north of Richmond.
Cheung was a driver for the Charlotte-based Sky Express bus company. The company, which had one of the worst safety records in the country, was shut down by federal authorities after the 2011 wreck.
Caroline County prosecutors called 15 witnesses, including several passengers on the low-fare Sky Express bus from Greensboro to New York. Witnesses described Cheung’s erratic driving before the bus swerved off the road, hit an embankment and overturned.
“It was like a nightmare. I remember it like it was yesterday,” passengers Andrew Jennings testified. “I woke up to people screaming, the bus was flipping, it was completely dark.”
A state trooper testified that Cheung nodded when asked whether he’d fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Tony Spencer pointed at Cheung and said, “That man had a legal duty of care to those passengers, and that’s a factor in this case.”
Cheung’s attorney, Taylor Stone, called the crash a “horrendous accident,” but argued it “doesn’t rise to the standard of criminal negligence.”