The last of seven people killed in the Dec. 18 Greyhound Bus crash was identified Friday while a complaint was being prepared against the driver whose semitrailer truck slammed into the bus near the Utah-Wyoming border.
FBI fingerprint records were used to determine that the man officials have been trying to identify for more than two weeks was Phillip Washington, of 3224 Smith Lee Drive in Sacramento.A Sacramento shopping identification card the man was carrying led officials to concentrate their identity search for a black man missing from the Sacramento area, but it took a fingerprint match by the FBI to make the positive identification, said Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Gary Whitney.
Troopers discovered that the driver of the loaded semitrailer truck that jackknifed, crossed the median on I-80 and slammed into the Greyhound Bus was driving with a suspended license. Robert Williams was not cited at the scene, but a complaint is being prepared by the Summit County attorney's office, Whitney said. A charge of driving too fast for the existing conditions is also being investigated.
A negligent homicide charge in the crash has been ruled out at this point, Whitney said.
Williams told investigators that a passenger car that began fishtailing in front of him contributed to the accident. A Green River, Wyo., woman who was driving the car in front of Williams' truck stopped at the accident site and gave a statement to troopers. She then stayed to help the accident victims.
Witnesses to the accident told troopers they saw both the truck and the car drive by them on the snowy stretch of I-80 west of Evanston. "People commented to one another that they were going to see them off the side of the road," Whitney said. "We still feel like the basic charge that he (Williams) was going to fast for conditions still holds." Troopers do not plan to file charges against the Green River woman.
Howard McGlothlin, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge for the Greyhound crash, said the woman driving the car in front of the truck remained at the scene but was not involved in any collision. "We're still determining how far in front that vehicle was," but each driver is responsible to maintain control of his or her vehicle, he said.
The transportation safety board determined the truck hit the bus two seats behind the driver's seat on the driver's side. All of the passengers killed were sitting near the point of the impact.
The board's investigation will likely take nine months to one year to complete and has the objective of making traffic safety recommendations to the transportation safety board in Washington, D.C. Any and all legal action will be taken by the state, he said.