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UPDATE: Deadly Crash; Driver Faces More Charges

UPDATED Monday, August 3, 2009 --- 1:00 p.m.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin judge has thrown out the conviction of an Indiana truck driver accused in a fatal bus crash.

A federal jury had found 26-year-old Michael Kozlowski of Schererville, Ind. guilty of using a trucking log that contained false entries.

But U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said Friday the conviction was based on a looser interpretation of the federal statute's wording than was appropriate. She granted Kozlowski a new trial.

Prosecutors say Kozlowski claimed he was resting or sleeping in the truck's berth on five days in 2005 when evidence showed he was driving.

Kozlowski fell asleep at the wheel in 2005, and his rig overturned after he swerved back on to interstate. A bus carrying a high school band plowed into the truck, killing five people and injuring 28.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, July 27, 2009 --- 10:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Sentencing has been delayed until August for an Indiana truck driver blamed in a fatal bus crash in Wisconsin.

Michael Kozlowski's sentencing on five counts of using a trucking log that contained false entries had originally been set for Monday.

Kozlowski is asking U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to be sentenced to probation and not prison time.

Prosecutors say Kozlowski claimed he was resting or sleeping in the truck's berth on five days in 2005 when evidence showed he was driving.

Kozlowski fell asleep at the wheel on Oct. 16, 2005, and his rig overturned after he swerved back on to Interstate 94. A bus carrying the Chippewa Falls High School band then plowed into the truck, killing five people and injuring 28.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Saturday, July 25, 2009 --- 5:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An Indiana truck driver blamed in a fatal bus crash in Wisconsin is asking a judge for leniency on charges of falsifying his driving log.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb is expected to sentence Michael Kozlowski on Monday on five counts of using a trucking log that contained false entries.

Prosecutors say Kozlowski claimed he was resting or sleeping in the truck's berth on five days in 2005 when evidence showed he was driving.

Kozlowski's attorney asked Crabb last week to spare him prison time and impose a sentence of probation.

Kozlowski fell asleep at the wheel on Oct. 16, 2005 and his rig overturned after he swerved back on to Interstate 94. A bus carrying a high school band then plowed into the truck, killing five and injuring 28.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 14, 2009 --- 1:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The attorney for an Indiana truck driver involved in a fatal bus crash says he will appeal his conviction for falsifying his driving log.

A federal jury found Michael Kozlowski of Schererville, Ind., guilty Wednesday on five counts of using a trucking log that contained false entries. Each conviction carries up to five years in federal prison.

His attorney, Eric Wilson, said Thursday he will appeal.

Prosecutors say Kozlowski reported he was resting or sleeping on five days in September and October 2005 when evidence showed he was driving.

The now 26-year-old Kozlowski was previously found not guilty of state charges, including negligent homicide, in an Oct. 16, 2005, bus crash that killed five and injured 28 on Interstate 94 near Osseo.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, March 12, 2009 --- 11:14 a.m.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) -- The semitrailer truck driver involved in a fatal interstate crash in western Wisconsin in 2005 is facing additional federal charges of falsifying his driver's log.

Michael Kozlowski of Schererville, Ind., is charged with eight new counts, in addition to 12 previous charges, of making false entries in his trucking log.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Connell says a further review of Kozlowski's driving records led to the additional charges. Connell says Kozlowski claimed he was sleeping at times he was driving his truck. Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

Five people were killed and 28 injured when a bus carrying a high school marching band slammed into Kozlowski's semi after it overturned on Interstate 94 near Osseo.

Kozlowski was earlier found not guilty on criminal charges relating to the crash.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted Saturday, February 28, 2009 --- 1:45 p.m.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) — An Eau Claire man who was on a marching-band trip when his bus crashed into an overturned semitrailer truck in 2005 has reached a settlement in his civil suit.

Twenty-seven-year-old Raji Y. Alowairdi claims he suffered multiple head and facial injuries, a broken nose and temporary lack of sight in one eye.

The settlement is $75,000, with more than $41,000 going to Alowairdi after attorney and other fees.

The defendants included Whole Foods Market Group, which owned the semi, truck driver Michael J. Kozlowski and bus company Chippewa Trails.

A bus carrying Chippewa Falls High School students returning from a band competition slammed into Kozlowski's overturned truck on I-94 in western Wisconsin in October 2005.

Five people died and 28 were injured.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.


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