FORT IRWIN, Ca. – An Arizona truck driver was sentenced to two years in federal prison for causing a bus crash that left one man deceased on the Fort Irwin Army Base.
Steven Kitty, 52 of Apache Junction, Arizona was at the federal court in the City of Riverside. Kilty as indicted in March 2016, and was tried at the end of 2017. The jury was not able to make a decision, leading to a mistrial. He was retried in October 2018 and was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after a 5-day trial.
Court documents indicated that while delivering a military tactical vehicle to the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin on June 1, 2014. He arrived at the base the night prior to the date the vehicle was to be delivered, so he parked his tractor-trailer in the right traffic lane of the road on the Fort Irwin Property, federal officials said.
Kilty turned off the lights of his truck and without taking any safety-related precautions, including putting out safety triangle reflectors or turning on hazard lights, he went to sleep in his truck. The truck was parked in the roadway with no illumination. A daily Victor Valley Transit Authority bus transporting commuters to Fort Irwin did not see that the semi was parked before crashing nto the back of the parked truck at around 5:00 a.m. on June 2, 2014.
Dail Lee Keiper Sr., 62, of Barstow, died as a result of the crash and seven others were badly injured, including on man who lost an arm. Kitty was called grossly negligent leading to the deaths and injuries, since he did not place warning reflectors. “The death was the direct result of defendant’s decision to park the semi-truck loaded with an armored vehicle in the middle of a moving lane of traffic,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court. “Rather than a single isolated decision, the accident was the culmination of a number of reckless decisions made by (the) defendant.”
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- fort irwin: image: Jarek Tuszynski