In an exclusive interview with the New York Daily News Monday, Williams (pictured) said, “It hurts. Every day I live with it. I ask myself, Should I have passed away with them?”
Returning from a Connecticut Mohegan Sun Casino last March, the World Wide Tours bus Williams commandeered struck a guard rail before landing on its side and hitting a signpost that sliced its top open.
Fifteen people we killed in the accident.
Prosecutors charged Williams with manslaughter, arguing that he had been driving while sleep-deprived, a condition supposedly on par with driving under the influence.
Watch a news report of Ophadel’s acquittal here:
Williams claimed he was alert during the crash, swerving to avoid a tractor trailer. Investigators, however, found no evidence to support this. On Friday, a Bronx jury found him not guilty on the manslaughter charges. He was found guilty on one charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, which carried a $500 fine and a 30-day prison sentence.
Even though the most serious charges against him were dropped, Williams still faces multiple legal suits from survivors and relatives of the deceased. The case could garner survivors up to $5 million. But for many, that won’t be enough.
“Fifteen lives were lost and no one is going to pay,” a relative of a dead passenger told the News. Despite what happened, Williams insists he is the victim of an unjust smear campaign.
“I’ve been unfairly portrayed,” Williams defended. “I’m not that monster. I’m not a death driver. I loved my job, showed up to work every day, and was good at it.”