It took jurors just a little over six hours to decide to convict a 42-year-old former commercial truck driver of 12 different crimes related to his role in causing a fatal crash in 2015. The incident, which occurred along Interstate 75 in Hamilton county, claimed six family members’ lives.
During the trial, prosecutors had argued that the trucker made no attempt to stop the tractor-trailer he was driving on June 25, 2015, after coming upon slowed traffic on I-75.
Among expert witnesses who testified at the trial, none were able to determine that his truck experienced any mechanical failure leading to the crash. Prosecutors also argued that there didn’t appear to be any evidence to support the defense counsel’s argument that the trucker had fallen asleep behind the wheel.
What was clear, though, based on a toxicology panel done on the man, was that he’d likely consumed both amphetamines and methamphetamine sometime prior to the crash occurring. It wasn’t clear, however, whether the man’s positive test resulted from him taking illicit or over-the-counter medications.
A fourth theory that was circulated during the trial had to do with the potential of the trucker being an aggressive driver. One witness, who was apparently driving alongside the trucker that day, testified that he’d seen him driving at an excessive rate of speed and tailgating others prior to the crash.
Ultimately, police were never able to feel comfortable in selecting just one of these factors alone as the contributing cause of the crash.
On March 12, the trucker stands to be sentenced on all 12 charges, including four counts for aggravated reckless assault, six for vehicular homicide and one each for intoxicated driving and speeding. He could be sentenced to a maximum of 72 years in prison.
If your loved one has been killed in a senseless crash at the hands of a drunk, distracted or drowsy motorist, then a Athens, Tennessee, wrongful death attorney can advise you of your rights in your legal matter.
Source: Times Free Press, “Jurors convict truck driver of 12 crimes in 2015 interstate crash that killed six,” Zack Peterson, Jan. 24, 2018