Driver Found Guilty in Fatal Bus Crash Skip to content
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Driver Found Guilty in Fatal Bus Crash

The driver of a tour bus that rolled over in an accident in December 2017 and lead to the death of two people has received a six-month suspended prison sentence, RÚV reports. He will also lose his driver’s license for two years and responsible for paying both court and legal expenses in excess of ISK 4.1 million [$32,868; €28,930]. The ruling was issued on Friday by the South Iceland District Court.

The accident occurred in South Iceland, just west of the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The bus rolled over when the driver, who was traveling 10 – 12 km/hr over the posted speed limit, tried to edge the bus to the left when a passenger vehicle unexpectedly appeared on its right side. Ice on the roadway caused the bus to crash into the car, however, which had also slipped to the left.

There were 46 passengers on the bus when it overturned, all of whom were Chinese tourists. One of the passengers died at the scene of the accident, another two weeks later. Two additional passengers were seriously injured.

Witnesses testified that the bus was not in good repair on the day of the accident and should not have been driven. According to tachograph data collected from the bus in the minutes before the crash, it was traveling between 100 – 102 km/hr [62 – 63 mi/hr], although the posted speed limit on rural roads is 90 km/hr [56 mi/hr]. The driver testified that prior to setting off on the trip, he’d noticed that the brakes were not working equally well on all the vehicle’s wheels and also that the winter studs on the tires were fairly worn down.

The official report on the bus’s condition at the time of the accident also found that the tire studs were in poor condition. As such, they were of no use when the bus began slipping on the icy road at the time of the accident. Investigators also found that there was no brake on the left front wheel.

The driver’s negligence in failing to properly examine and conduct maintenance on the bus before setting out and also in driving over the speed limit in icy conditions was then, the court found, directly responsible for the deaths of two people and the serious injury of two more.

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