On January 25, 2006, Alvin Wilkerson fell asleep behind the wheel of his semi-truck and struck a car, which burst into flames, and a school bus. The seven children in the fiery car were killed. Ten children on the bus were also injured.
On Thursday, Wilkerson changed his plea in court to no contest to the seventeen counts of vehicular homicide, manslaughter and culpable negligence.
According to State Attorney Bill Cervone, Wilkerson is the first to be criminally prosecuted in a sleep deprivation case.
"This is the first case that we have handled that I think is of record in the state where sleep deprivation is going to result in somebody going to prison," said Cervone.
By pleading no contest to the charges, Wilkerson will receive eight years in prison.
In addition, a civil suit is expected to be brought against the trucking company that Wilkerson worked for.
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