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Originally published Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

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Lawyer blames rail officials at NY bus crash trial

The trial of a New Jersey bus driver charged with the deaths of four passengers in an upstate New York crash has opened with a defense lawyer blaming railroad and public officials for failing to fix a dangerously low overpass after numerous accidents.

The Associated Press

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. —

The trial of a New Jersey bus driver charged with the deaths of four passengers in an upstate New York crash has opened with a defense lawyer blaming railroad and public officials for failing to fix a dangerously low overpass after numerous accidents.

The lawyer tells an Onondaga (ahn-uhn-DAH'-gah) County judge that John Tomaszewski (tom-uh-SHEV'-skee) had never been on the Onondaga Lake Parkway before but ended up there when a car blocked his usual route. Tomaszewski says he didn't see the overpass outside Syracuse until just before his Megabus plowed into it on Sept. 11, 2010.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Tomaszewski was checking a personal global positioning system device and ignored numerous warning signs.

The 60-year-old from Yardville, N.J., chose a non-jury trial on four counts of criminally negligent homicide.

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