The former Hillsborough County bus driver, who crashed into a retention pond last September, will have to wait weeks to hear if he’s guilty of careless driving. The judge is demanding the two mechanics who worked on that bus after the incident, testify first. That means more waiting for Lenoir Sainfimi, who spoke exclusively to Abc Action News after the crash.
“I am not a careless driver," said Sainfimi.
He says the incident was not his fault and claims the brakes failed. Meanwhile, Hillsborough County deputies say he was speeding 13 miles per hour over the speed limit. But the crucial basis for the careless driving charge is a post-accident exam. It found no mechanical defects with the bus. A point defense immediately attacked. They stated the brake system was compromised because the towing company let out the pressure from the brakes after taking the bus out of the pond.
A decision a Hillsborough County deputy on scene allowed and defended in court saying she didn’t see a problem with it because she’s not a mechanic. Defense also brought up the bus’ long history in the shop.
“Are you aware that five different times in the last year the braking system of this bus has collapsed?" asked defense attorney, Ralph Fernandez, of the deputy, "Don’t you think that would be important for the person assessing that?”
Defense went on to say the bus was aging at 21-years-old with 300,000 miles. Mentioning the typical retirement age for buses is 15-years-old. Fernandez also questioned missing footage from inside the bus. Surveillance video cuts of a couple of seconds before the bus hits the pond. The sheriff's office representative stated, they reached out to the manufacturer to try and pull the missing footage but were unsuccessful due to water damage.
Meanwhile, the judge saying he can’t make a decision without hearing from those mechanics and figuring out if letting the pressure out of the brakes messed with the exam.