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Video shows details of deadly RTD bus crash

9:23 AM, Jan 8, 2011   |    comments
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The videos, released a day after the driver was sentenced to three years probation, come from various cameras mounted to the inside of the bus.

On Thursday, a Denver judge decided not to give Tidenekiyalesh Hawariyat any jail time for her role in the crash which killed Carla Miranda and her fiancé Dustin Peletier.

It was a decision that was roundly criticized by the families of the victims who had spent the better part of the day's sentencing hearing trying to convince the judge to give Hawariyat at least some time in jail.

9NEWS has chosen not to air the videos in their entirety out of respect for the families involved and because parts of the videos are quite disturbing.

On April 3, 2010, Hawariyat was driving an RTD-marked bus northbound on Lincoln headed toward the heart of downtown. The video shows the light in front of her to be red for approximately 4 seconds before the impact.

Prosecutors originally charged Hawariyat with two counts of careless driving resulting in death and 11 counts of careless driving resulting in injury. Ten people on board the bus were injured in addition to another motorist who was hit.

In November of last year, prosecutors reached a plea deal with Hawariyat which kept intact the carless driving resulting in death charges, but combined the careless driving resulting in injury charges into one single charge.

All of the charges are misdemeanors in Colorado.

The videos played a crucial role in the prosecution's decision to not go for more serious charges.

Darren Cantor, Hawariyat's attorney, said on Thursday that the crash was nothing more than a horrible accident.

"There was no texting, no reading, no emailing, no phone, no drugs, no alcohol," he said. "This was an accident. It's unfortunate. The results are awful and tragic, but in the end it's an accident."

Miranda's mother was hardly as understanding.

"Misdemeanors for a death are unconscionable," Lorraine Delao-Miranda said.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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