Tour Bus Driver Charged in Deadly Crash Gives Up Court Fight

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The driver of a Roberts Hawaii tour bus that slammed into an SUV killing a man in Kahaluu decides to no longer fight the manslaughter charge against him.

On Tuesday, Steven Oshiro accepted responsibility and began serving his prison sentence.

Prosecutors say a drug recognition expert would have testified Oshiro was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the deadly crash. That comes as no surprise to those who were passengers on his bus earlier that day.

"He's obviously very traumatized by what happened," David Hayakawa, defense attorney, said about his client. "But the number one issue here is he knows that he's responsible for the death of another."

Corey Voss, a 41-year-old husband and father-to-be, was killed June 12, 2006, when the giant bus crossed the center line of Kamehameha Highway and demolished his SUV.

Oshiro had just dropped off a group visiting from a high school in Kansas. KHNL News 8 obtained video of the ride taken by a member of that group. Passengers say their driver was all over the road.

"His behaviors -- swerving, erratic driving -- progressed to the point that we began to get terrified," Cindi Kimmel, Oshiro's passenger, said.

Kimmel says her heart sank when she learned about the crash.

"Most of us cried," she said. "We, most of us found out in the hotel lobby the next morning."

Oshiro pleads no contest to manslaughter, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.

"He did not want to put the Voss family through a terrible trial," Hayakawa said. "This is all he can do to try to make amends."

Even though his sentencing is set for April, the 50-year-old is taken into custody immediately.

"He took our life into his hands by choosing to drive under the influence," Kimmel said. "And I would like that to be a lesson for all people who think they can manage."

Under a plea deal, prosecutors say they'll seek a 10-year term when Oshiro's case goes before the Hawaii parole board.