John Tomaszewski, the driver of the double-decker Megabus that crashed into an overpass in upstate New York in 2010, was found not guilty today.
Four people died in the crash and Tomaszewski could have seen four years in prison if he was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide. Tomaszewski was happy about the not guilty verdict, but said that he still has to live with the knowledge that he was responsible for the death of four people. Tomaszewski said after the trial:
“It was a tragic accident and four people lost their lives. It’s something I’ll have to deal with the rest of my life.”
The Associated press reports that there were 29 passengers on the Megabus on September 11th, 2010. Tomaszewski missed an exit from the interstate and ended up hitting a railroad bridge in Salina.
Assistant District Attorney Chris Bednarski said that Tomaszewski passed 13 low bridge warnings before crashing into the railroad bridge and should have been found guilty of negligence. Bednarski said:
“I’m disappointed for the families. They were expecting closure. They’re dealing as well as can be expected. It’s something you probably never recover from.”0
Tomaszewski’s lawyer, Eric Jeschke, argued that the blame should be placed on CSX railroad officials who knew about the danger of the railroad bridge. The bridge has apparently been the site of several accidents over the years.
County Judge Anthony Aloi eventually ruled that there was no evidence that Tomaszewski had ignored a traffic sign. The judge said:
“There is no way to compensate for the loss and heartbreak or to provide closure. There is no closure when you lose a child. “
Do you think Tomaszewski should have been held responsible for the deaths of his Megabus passengers?