APNewsBreak: Guilty plea in Utah bus crash

May 24, 2011 - 5:43 PM
Tour Bus Crash

File-In this booking photo released by Iron County Jail in Cedar City, Utah showing Japanese citizen 26-year-old Yasushi Mikuni. Mikuni, 26, will be arraigned on May 24, 2011 on charges related to an accident where a tour bus rolled over and killed three Japanese tourists on Interstate 15 north of Cedar City in August. Mikuni is set to enter a plea in a Cedar City courtroom, faces 13 felony and misdemeanor charges, including negligent driving that resulted in injury or death and driving while under the influence of a controlled substance, for allegedly having smoked marijuana in the hours before the crash.(AP Photo/Iron County Jail)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The 26-year-old driver of a tour bus that crashed in Utah and killed three Japanese tourists last year has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Yasushi Mikuni could face up to 15 years in prison following his guilty plea Tuesday to three counts of operating a vehicle negligently causing serious injury or death.

Defense attorney Keith Barnes told The Associated Press that in exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped seven other felony and three misdemeanor charges.

Sentencing is set Aug. 5 in 5th District Court in Cedar City.

The bus was headed from Las Vegas to national parks in Utah when it rolled over on Interstate 15, about 250 miles south of Salt Lake City.