Bus driver in Colusa crash pleads not guilty

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Associated Press
Posted: 07/24/2009 12:08:46 PM PDT

WILLIAMS, Calif.—The bus driver in a Colusa County crash that killed 11 people last year has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter.

Fifty-three-year-old Quintin Watts was driving a charter bus crash shuttling a group to the Colusa Casino Resort on Oct. 5 when it veered off a rural road and flipped. Eleven people died and more than 30 others were injured, most of them elderly Hmong and Mien immigrants.

Authorities have said Watts apparently dozed off at the wheel, leading to the crash.

Watts entered his plea Wednesday in Colusa County Superior Court to 11 counts of vehicular manslaughter. He also refused to waive his right to a speedy trial.

A judge scheduled his preliminary hearing to begin next Friday.

If convicted of all counts, he could face nearly 20 years in prison.

Information from: Colusa Sun-Herald, http://www.colusa-sun-herald.com/


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