Last August, a Wisconsin jury took less than two hours to find Wayne Murphy guilty of reckless driving and causing great bodily harm in a truck accident involving a school bus. Though Murphy insisted that his driving was not impaired by the drugs he had taken earlier in the day, his perilous driving had been reported to his trucking company by another motorist before the crash, and that company had called the police to intervene. Unfortunately, by the time the police caught up with him, his semi had sideswiped a school bus filled with students and their chaperones stopped on the highway. Several passengers were left in critical condition, with many suffering broken bones, concussions and difficulty breathing.
According to his own statements, on the day of the truck accident, Murphy had taken one and a half doses of narcotic anxiety medication as well as a dose of another medication. Police found both Xanax and Zoloft in his bloodstream. Despite this he defended himself, saying, “I felt relaxed,” he said. “I mean if you’re talking about a euphoric high I mean it doesn’t, I didn’t take enough to try to get high on it or whatever.” The jury did not agree to convict him of five counts of recklessly causing great bodily harm and nine counts of causing injury while driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Sentencing will take place next week, with sentencing guidelines indicating as much as 12 and a half years in prison on each count.
Driver Has Been in Jail Since Truck Accident
Despite insisting that he was not impaired by the drugs he was taking, Murphy has been held in jail ever since the truck accident. He admitted in court that his driving was “not the safest” but that he simply felt relaxed, not drowsy. He also claims his physician never warned him against driving while on the medication and that his training never mentioned taking anti-anxiety medications as being against the laws or the rules.