-- After a four-month investigation, authorities said today the driver of a city bus who police said fell asleep at the wheel and then slammed into eight vehicles in suburban Detroit will be charged.
Leon Rasheed, the 65-year-old driver, faces a charge of a 93-day misdemeanor, a moving violation causing serious impairment of bodily function. In court today, he pleaded not guilty. Rasheed told ABC News that he had medical issues but he apologized for what happened to the people in the wreck.
Police said in October the SMART bus crashed into a Ford Explorer in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, before plowing into seven other vehicles. Cameras on the bus caught the heart-pounding moment.
Police said there was one passenger on the bus at the time. That passenger was not injured. The driver said he'd fallen asleep, according to police, and had tried to brake and then swerved before the accident. Authorities called it the longest crash of West Bloomfield history.
"This accident, the crash scene was actually a half-a-mile long," West Bloomfield police Detective Lt. Curt Lawson told ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit.
"It was one of the biggest accidents that we have ever investigated in West Bloomfield history. It took four months to complete this investigation. ... We've very fortunate no one was killed during this incident.”
A man and a woman, both age 79, who were riding in the Ford Explorer, were seriously injured in the accident. Several passengers in the other vehicles suffered minor injuries.
Authorities examined camera footage and the bus' recording device, as well as the victims' hospital records. The bus' brakes and mechanics were also investigated and the accident was reconstructed.