EDGARD, La. (AP) — A bus driver was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for a crash that killed a firefighter and two other people on an interstate in Louisiana.

Denis Amaya Rodriguez, a 38-year-old illegal immigrant from Honduras, received the maximum sentence for his conviction in the August 2016 crash on Interstate 10 in LaPlace, local news outlets report.

At trial, prosecutors said Amaya was rushing to beat traffic when the bus he was driving plowed into a parked firetruck that had stopped to assist with a crash earlier that morning.

St. John the Baptist Parish Fire Chief Spencer Chauvin, Vontarous Kelly, and Jeramine Starr died in the crash. Kelly and Starr, both of Moss Point, Mississippi, were in one of the vehicles struck by the bus.

Amaya's attorney said he was driving a defective "party" bus taking more than 30 passengers to Baton Rouge to look for work less than a month after historic flooding damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes in southeast Louisiana.

State District Court Judge Sterling Snowdy presided over a three-day trial in January before a jury convicted Amaya of three counts of negligent homicide. Each count carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

During Monday's sentencing hearing, Snowdy said he was "profoundly" concerned by Amaya's poor judgment and described him as a "gross risk to this community, and the driving public," NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reported.

Amaya still faces misdemeanor charges over the injuries sustained by more than three dozen other people. He faces possible deportation once he completes serving his sentence.

Amaya, who addressed the judge through a Spanish translator, apologized for the suffering the crash caused but said he didn't consider himself "truly guilty."

"If the law says I have to pay, then here I am," he said.

Chauvin's widow, Jennifer, told Amaya that her family's "sentence will always be greater" than his.

"You sentenced us to a life without Spencer," Jennifer Chauvin said , according to The Advocate.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com