BREAKING: Trucker found guilty on multiple counts connected to school bus crash – WKOW
UPDATE (WKOW) — A jury has found truck driver Wayne Murphy guilty on multiple counts of causing great bodily harm after his semi truck sideswiped a school bus stopped along an interstate highway in 2018. The bus was full of students at the time.
The jury returned the verdict after less than three hours of deliberation.
Murphy was also convicted on five counts of recklessly causing great bodily harm and nine counts of causing injury while driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
Murphy says he took Xanax and Zoloft the day of the collision.
COLUMBIA COUNTY (WKOW) — A truck driver on trial for crashing into a school bus maintained during testimony Thursday that he wasn’t impaired by the medication he was taking.
Wayne Murphy, 43, is on trial for 10 felony charges and 36 misdemeanor crimes, including causing great bodily harm through intoxicated driving.
The crash happened near Lodi on May 23, 2018.
All 33 people on board were hurt. Court documents show several were in critical condition, with difficulty breathing, concussions and broken bones just some of the injuries.
Murphy took the stand Thursday on day four of his trial and admitted that his driving was “not the safest,” but stood by his statement that he was not impaired.
He testified that on the morning of the crash, he took one and one half doses of his anxiety medication and one dose of another medication.
He said he felt relaxed, but did not feel drowsy that day or at any time while taking the anti-anxiety medication.
Murphy also testified that his doctor didn’t say he should avoid driving while under the effects of the drugs, although had not undergone a DOT approved physical since he started his prescription.
He also testified that in his training, it was never said that taking anti-anxiety medication while driving was against the law or regulations.
Earlier in the week, jurors saw photos of the damage the semi Murphy was driving caused when he hit a school bus that had stopped on the side of the Interstate near Lodi.
The bus carried students from a Milwaukee area school who were on their way to a field trip.
Jurors also saw video of the field sobriety tests Murphy performed after the crash in earlier testimony.
The criminal complaint against Murphy reveals another truck driver saw Murphy veering off the road. That driver called the 800 number on the back of his trailer, and the company called state authorities.