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Truck driver in Palm Springs-area bus crash that killed 13 to stand trial

By in Press Enterprise on February 7, 2018

By City News Service

A truck driver who authorities say fell asleep during a traffic break — which contributed to a tour bus crash on the 10 Freeway in the Palm Springs area that left 13 dead — will stand trial on more than 40 felony and misdemeanor counts, including vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving, a judge ruled Wednesday, Feb. 7.

According to court testimony, sleep-deprived Bruce Guilford, 51, of Covington, Ga., slept after traffic came to a standstill on the freeway for five to 10 minutes while utility work got under way in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 2016, minutes before an Alhambra-based tour bus slammed into the rear of his rig on westbound Interstate 10.

  • Photos: At the scene of the crash

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.

Most of the victims, who had boarded the bus in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, were from the Los Angeles area.

CHP Officer Scott Parent testified Tuesday that he had compared Guilford’s driver logs and the GPS device on his truck, and found that the truck driver had driven 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.

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

  • Related: NTSB: Sleep-deprivation blamed for Palm Springs-area bus crash

On the day of the crash, Parent alleged that Guilford set his parking brake, and then fell asleep as the traffic break was lifted and remained stopped for about a minute, until […]    

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