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CHP investigator details alleged violations of trucker accused in fatal Palms Springs bus crash

By in Press Enterprise on February 7, 2018

By City News Service

INDIO — A truck driver whose rig was hit by a tour bus in Palm Springs, killing 13 people and injuring 31 others, fell asleep at the wheel during a two-week cross country trip in which he violated numerous federal regulations regarding mandated sleeping breaks and maximum driving hours, a California Highway Patrol investigator testified Tuesday.

Bruce Guilford, 51, of Covington, Ga., is accused of falling asleep at the wheel in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 2016, minutes before a tour bus slammed into the rear of his rig on westbound Interstate 10. Teodulo Elias Vides, owner of the USA Holiday bus company, was killed, along with a dozen of his passengers riding near the front of the bus.

Guilford, who was arrested in Georgia late last year, is charged with more than 40 felony and misdemeanor counts, including vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing injury.

CHP Officer Scott Parent testified Tuesday that after comparing Guilford’s driver logs and the GPS device on his truck, he found that Guilford drove in excess of maximum driving time limits, which include mandates that drivers spend no longer than 11 hours per day on the road, not work longer than 14 hours after one’s shift begins and take a required 30-minute break per every eight hours of driving.

Parent testified that Guilford drove in violation of those regulations nearly every day of his round trip from Eufaula, Ala., to Salinas.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Guilford about two weeks before the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that both Guilford and Vides were both sleep-deprived.

Parent alleged that Guilford violated maximum driving time regulations and tried to hide the violations by falsifying his driver’s daily log, with the nearly nonstop driving he allegedly undertook resulting “in acute sleep deprivation,” he wrote in an […]    

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