Posted on: June 15, 2022, 01:24h.
Last updated on: June 15, 2022, 01:24h.
A bus driver has been charged with 38 counts of reckless endangerment after he passed out on I-95 while ferrying a busload of Boston casino-goers back home from Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun. That was after polishing off a whole bag of “Smokies Edibles Cannabis Infused Fruit Chews,” according to court documents.
Jinhuan Chen, an employee of casino shuttle service Go Go Sun Tour, told a court in Boston courtroom Tuesday he had no idea that the candy was loaded with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.
“I didn’t know it was marijuana,” Jinhuan Chen said through a Chinese interpreter, as reported by The Connecticut Post. “I didn’t know.”
According to Connecticut police, a trooper was dispatched to the southbound carriage of the freeway, near Exit 30 in Stratford, at around 3pm on March 13 to respond to reports of a coach crash.
The trooper found Chen slumped unconscious in the driver’s seat with his bag of Smokies Edibles. He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital where he was found to have high levels of THC in his bloodstream.
“The driver didn’t know there was marijuana in the candy,” Victor Chen, the manager of Go Go Sun Tour, told the Post.
He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke but he has a sweet tooth and likes candy,” Chen said of his employee. “He picked up a bag of candy at a local market here and didn’t know it had marijuana in it,” he continued. “This would never have happened a couple of years ago but now there’s marijuana everywhere here.”
Jinhuan Chen had been driving for Go Go Sun for 10 years with an exemplary record, his employer said.
But prosecutors told Superior Court Judge Ndidi Moses that Chen was just lucky no one was injured in the crash and urged her to set a high bond. Judge Moses ordered a bond of $25,000 bond and adjourned the case until August 25.
World Wide Tours Bus Crash
Chen was indeed lucky. In March 2011, 15 people died and a dozen more were injured when a World Wide Tours bus returning from Mohegan Sun crashed on the outskirts of New York City.
The bus swerved and collided with a metal sign pole, which ripped through the vehicle, tearing off its roof. Some surviving passengers have said that the driver, Ophadell Williams, fell asleep at the wheel. Williams denied this, claiming he had lost control while trying to avoid a swerving tractor.
The driver was prosecuted on charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter and was ultimately cleared by a jury in December 2012.