RIVERSIDE, California– An Arizona man was indicted today on federal charges of involuntary manslaughter for his role in a fatal bus crash that allegedly occurred because he parked his truck on a highway on the Fort Irwin Army Base in the Mojave Desert.
Steven Kilty, 49, of Apache Junction, Arizona, was named in a single-count indictment that charges him with involuntary manslaughter, a felony offense that carries a penalty of up to eight years in federal prison.
On the evening of June 2, 2014, Steven Kilty was delivering equipment to the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin. Kilty arrived at the base the night before his scheduled delivery, and he parked his tractor-trailer in the right lane of road on Fort Irwin property, according to investigators, who determined that Kilty turned off the lights on the truck and failed to place any warning devices or reflectors near his truck.
At approximately 5:00 a.m. on June 3, prior to sunrise, a commuter bus bringing people to Fort Irwin collided with the parked truck. As a result of the collision, one man was killed and seven people suffered major injuries.
The indictment alleges that Kilty was illegally blocking traffic on the roadway and that he failed to place any warning reflectors, both of which are violations of the California Vehicle Code. This “grossly negligent” operation of the truck “imperiled the lives of others,” according to the indictment.
“Commercial truck drivers are professionals who have a heightened obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The tragedy that resulted of Mr. Kilty's negligent conduct was entirely avoidable.”
Kilty will be summoned to appear for an arraignment in the United States District Court in Riverside in the coming weeks.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
This case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the Fort Irwin Police Department.
USAO – California, Central Updated March 24, 2016
Central District of California DOJ / 16-057 / March 24, 2016