Judge Sentences Truck Driver to 4 Years in Prison

By April 4, 2008Trucking Accidents

An Illinois truck driver whose semi slammed into the back of a tour bus killing eight women was sentenced to four years in prison last Thursday.
On Oct. 1, 2003, Vincente Zepeda’s 76,000-pound semi slammed into the back of a 25-passenger tour bus near a toll plaza. Eight of the Chicago-area women on the bus were killed. Another 15 people were injured in the chain-reaction crash that involved five vehicles.
Zepeda, 54, was charged with eight counts of reckless homicide. Prosecutors alleged his inattention and excessive speed caused the accident. Last year, he was found guilty of the charges. On April 3, McHenry County Circuit Judge Sharon Prather sentenced Zapeda to 4 years on eight counts of reckless homicide as well as 2 years, to be served concurrently, for failing to maintain his vehicle.
According to the Daily Herald, Prather said, “A prison sentence is necessary to deter others from committing the same conduct.”
I hope that this sentence sends a message to the trucking industry. Speeding in a poorly maintained semi cost eight women their lives. A prison term that amounts to six months for each life lost is hardly a fair trade-off for the victims’ families.
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