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Lawyer: NYC bus driver sober, awake before crash

March 23, 2011

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NEW YORK—A lawyer for the driver of a tour bus that crashed in New York City and killed 15 people says he was sober and fully awake when the accident happened.

Sean H. Rooney tells The New York Times driver Ophadell Williams was in control of the bus until a tractor-trailer veered toward it on a highway. He says the driver claims he lost control after swerving to avoid the truck.

Rooney scoffs at reports passengers told police the bus repeatedly swerved onto the highway shoulder before the March 12 crash. He calls the reports "nonsense." He says Williams doesn't smoke, drink or do drugs.

Investigators are looking into whether Williams was asleep or distracted as he drove from a casino in Uncasville (UNK'-ahs-vihl), Conn.

Williams hasn't been charged. His lawyer's statements were published on the newspaper's website Wednesday.