WEST NEW YORK - A bus driver who crashed into a light pole that struck and killed an infant in Hudson County was found not guilty of vehicular homicide.
A judge on Thursday said prosecutors failed to prove their case against 52-year-old Idowu Daramola of Jamaica, New York.
Prosecutors argued that Daramola was speeding and using his cellphone when he veered off a street in West New York in 2013, triggering a chain-reaction accident. The bus struck a light pole, which fell onto a stroller, killing 8-month-old Angelie Paredes.
Daramola broke down as the child's mother testified on Wednesday, and again when the child's mother started to cry after the verdict was read.
Daramola's lawyer argued there was no evidence his client was using a cellphone or acting recklessly.
"Mr. Daramola was not on his cell phone definitively by evidence," says defense attorney Keith Hirschorn. "In our state we have a recklessness standard for vehicular homicide and there’s nothing here that was reckless.
Hirschorn says that Daramola is relieved, but still distraught and sorry for what happened. He no longer lives in the area.
The incident led to tougher regulations, named after Angelie, for jitney buses.