Bus driver involved in deadly crash near Livingston pleads not guilty

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Mario Vasquez faces four counts of vehicular manslaughter after the bus he was driving crashed into a sign near Livingston, splitting the bus in half. (KFSN)

The driver of a deadly bus crash pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges blaming him for the deaths of four passengers in August of last year.

Mario Vasquez faces four counts of vehicular manslaughter after the bus he was driving crashed into a sign near Livingston, splitting the bus in half. He also faces other misdemeanor charges for falsifying his daily driver's log

"We believe an overriding factor, in this case, was that he was a professionally licensed driver," prosecuting attorney Nicole Silveira said. "We feel that the state of care he owed to his passengers, who entrusted him with their lives, really raises the bar."

Prosecutors say fatigue is a big factor in the case. The accident report claims Vasquez worked 10 consecutive days prior to the crash which is more than federal regulations allow.

The judge allowed Vasquez to remain out of custody, but he had to relinquish his passport and not drive. His attorney says they're still waiting to receive more information on the case.

"There's still outstanding discovery that I'm waiting on, but at this time, that's all we have for the case right now," attorney Jessica Rico said. "We don't know where it's going to go on from there."

Prosecutors say despite the early stages of the case, they will interview others passengers.

"We're going to continue to evaluate the case, hopefully, meet with the family members of one of the individuals who lost their lives. There was a lot of whom were permanently disabled as a result of this incident," Silveira said.

Vasquez is due back in court in early November.

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