Riverside, California - An Arizona man has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his role in a fatal bus crash that happened after he parked his truck – without any lights or warning cones – on a highway on the Fort Irwin Army Base in the Mojave Desert.
Steven Kilty, 51, of Apache Junction, Arizona, was found guilty of the federal offense late Tuesday, which ended a five-day trial in United States District Court.
On the evening of June 1, 2014, Kilty was delivering a military tactical truck to the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin. Kilty had arrived at the base the night before his scheduled delivery, and he parked his tractor-trailer in the right lane of the road on Fort Irwin property. Kilty turned off the lights on the truck and, instead of putting out any safety triangle reflectors or turning on his hazard lights, he went to sleep in the berth of his truck – while the truck was still parked in the middle of the roadway.
Just after 5:00 a.m. on June 2, prior to sunrise, a Victor Valley Transit Authority bus transporting commuters to Fort Irwin collided with the parked truck. As a result of the collision, one man was killed and seven people suffered significant injuries, including an arm amputation.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Kilty was “grossly negligent” because his truck was blocking traffic on the roadway and he failed to place any warning reflectors, both of which are violations of the California Vehicle Code.
Kilty is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal on January 7, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of eight years in federal prison.
Kilty was indicted in this case in March 2016. He was initially tried in this matter in late 2017, but a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, and a mistrial was declared.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the Fort Irwin Police Department.
This matter was tried by Special Assistant United States Attorney Paul D. Levers and Assistant United States Attorney Jerry C. Yang of the Riverside Branch Office.