On its website the public prosecutor said “the court proved that the accused let the vehicle skid off the road as he was driving too close to the hard shoulder, was not paying proper attention and was trying to regulate the air conditioning system.”
Apart from being sentenced to one year and three months in prison for each of the crimes, which was the equivalent of a single sentence of three years and ten months suspended sentence, the bus driver was also banned from driving for three years.
The 33 tourists, including a three-year-old child and a 64-year-old Dutch man who were killed in the accident, were on their way to various hotels in Armação de Pera, Praia da Rocha (Portimão) and Lagos, when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the night of 17 June 2015.
The accident took place at around 11pm as the coach travelled from Faro airport to drop off the Dutch tourist party at their hotels.
Carlos Osório Gomes, director of the coach operator EVA Transportes, told journalists following the accident that the driver had a faultless track record and had been with the firm for 25 years.
This was followed by comments from the Dutch Ambassador to Portugal, Govert de Vroe, who praised the Portuguese authorities’ work in responding to and helping the 33 Dutch victims who were involved in the horrific late-night coach crash.