Big Rig Driver In Fatal 2016 Crash Goes To Trial

Big Rig Driver In Fatal 2016 Crash Goes To Trial

KMIR

Indio, CA

The truck driver who may be partially responsible for the Palm Springs bus crash that killed 13 people will likely be heading to trial.

It was Bruce Guilford’s day in court. His first opportunity to hear the evidence against him. Evidence that prosecutors say show Guilford was grossly negligent.

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"All of the facts leading up to it demonstrate the defendant’s gross negligence. Specifically though, at the time of the collision, the fact that he was parked on the freeway without any urgency for him or disabling of his car, no emergency flashers on, he’s stationary while cars are going seventy plus miles per hour around him. That’s gross negligence," said the prosecuting attorney.

This all goes back to October 2016. Guilford’s big rig was stopped on the I-10 for construction. But when traffic started moving, Guilford did not. That is when a tour bus slammed into his parked big rig in the middle of I-10 with deadly force. In court, CHP officer Scott Parent testified that Guilford drove more than the time allowed by law then lied in his logs.

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"Falsification is him putting himself in a status other than driving, when he is actually driving," said Parent.

Guilford’s attorneys argue that in the 20 years he has been driving, he has a clean record and that he had not fallen asleep but was merely fumbling with the radio. The judge sided with prosecutors saying there is enough evidence to move the case forward with Guilford facing a full jury trial on 13 counts of vehicular manslaughter. Guilford’s wife and daughter were in the courtroom today. They chose not to comment after the proceedings

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Niether attorneys would comment either. The judge kept bail at half a million dollars. If convicted Guilford could face up to 35 years in state prison.