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A June trial date has been set for the Sky Express bus driver charged in a crash that killed four passengers.
Kin Yiu Cheung, 37, of Elmhurst, N.Y., will appear before a judge June 25 in Caroline County Circuit Court to face four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Judge Joseph J. Ellis set the date at a status hearing yesterday. It falls one week after the scheduled two-day jury trial of Sky Express bus dispatcher Zhao Jian Chen.
Chen, 41, is also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Cheung, who speaks Mandarin Chinese and limited English, did not appear in court for yesterday's hearing.
According to court documents, he told state police he was tired, nodded off and then fell asleep on the morning of May 31, 2011, when Sky Express bus No. 386 overturned on Interstate 95 near the Carmel Church exit.
Court documents say Cheung told Chen he was too tired to drive that day from North Carolina to New York, but Chen ordered him to drive or risk losing his job.
Chen, of Greensboro, N.C., was not on the bus, but Caroline Commonwealth's Attorney Tony Spencer has said Chen's orders to Cheung made Chen "an accessory before the fact, which makes him just as liable as the driver." Spencer said the investigation revealed that it was a standard practice at Sky Express to put tired drivers behind the wheels of passenger buses.
State police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said fatigue was a factor in the crash and speed was what made the bus flip. The speed limit in the crash area is 70 mph.
Of the 58 passengers aboard the bus, 53 were taken to 11 hospitals across the state. Killed in the crash were Karen Blyden-Decastro, 46, of Cambria Heights, N.Y.; Sie Giok Giang, 63, of Philadelphia; Josefa Torres, 78, of Jamaica, N.Y.; and Denny Estefany Martinez, 25, of Jersey City, N.J.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419