Bus driver Le Nhat Phuong at the trial in the central city of Da Nang on January 28. Photos: Nguyen Tu
A court in the central city of Da Nang Thursday sentenced a bus driver to 11 years in prison for culpability in an accident that killed seven people belonging to a family last year.
Le Nhat Phuong, 43, was found guilty of speeding -- he was recorded driving at 106 kilometers per hour against the limit of 70 km -- and crashing into a car on April 29.
He was driving a sleeper bus with 28 passengers from the central province of Quang Tri to Ho Chi Minh City when he crashed into the sedan at an intersection between the Nam Hai Van Bypass and a newly-opened road leading to Ba Na Hills.
The collision, which sent the car hurtling nearly 120 meters, instantly killed driver Nguyen Chi Hoang Anh, 28, his two-year-old son, mother, parents-in-law and sister-in-law. Anh's pregnant wife Nguyen Thi Huong Mai, 24, died after being in a coma for a week.
A file photo of a bus-car crash that killed 7 on April 29, 2015
The bus passengers were unharmed.
The Hoa Vang District People's Court also ordered Phuong and his employer, a Ho Chi Minh City-based transport company, to pay VND2 billion compensation to the victims' family.
At the hearing, Phuong's lawyer Trinh Anh Hung asked the court to look into the culpability of three state-owned companies that built the new road and its safety features.
He said when the accident happened there were no rumble strips to warn drivers, and accused local authorities of failing to check the road’s quality before opening it four days before the accident.
But his charges were rejected by prosecutors who said traffic signs, including lights, were in place at the time.