New York Daily News

Driver in deadly bus crash asks for a lighter sentence

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A bus driver from the Bronx is seeking a lighter sentence in an interstate crash in Pennsylvan­ia that killed a woman and injured several other people 2 ½ years ago.

The public defender representi­ng 52-year-old Charles Dixon argued Monday that a Lackawanna County judge “essentiall­y gave” his client the statutory maximum in sentencing him March 8 to nine years and nine months to 20 ½ years, The Times-Tribune of Scranton reported.

Public defender Joseph Kalinowski said during a virtual hearing that “with everything either maxing out or in the aggravated range,” the court may not have fully considered his client’s “background and personal characteri­stics” and the circumstan­ces of the case.

Dixon acknowledg­ed in December having used cocaine before his bus carrying 15 passengers crossed the median on Interstate 380 and crashed into trees in Covington Township in October 2018. Rebecca Blanco, 33, of Vacaville, Calif., was killed, and other passengers were seriously injured.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Gallagher called the bulk of the sentence “fair and appropriat­e” and said a sentence in the standard range would be “a gross miscarriag­e of justice.”

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