The 29-year-old mother was driving home from church with her 18-month-old twin girls, Ruby and June, tucked into their safety seats in the car’s back seat. After the vehicle was engulfed in flames in a violent tractor-trailer crash on an interstate highway, none of them will get any older.
According to law enforcement officials, the 59-year-old Missouri truck driver who they believe was responsible for the fiery deaths has been arrested on charges including reckless homicide and criminal recklessness causing injury.
According to news reports, the car had come to a stop along with other vehicles headed east on Interstate 465 in Indiana because of road construction. But the speeding 18-wheeler did not stop, slamming into the young mother’s car from behind.
Seven other people in the multi-vehicle crash were hospitalized with injuries.
The trucker reportedly told investigators conflicting stories about the crash. In one version of events, his 18-wheeler was going just 35 mph at the time of the initial collision, but the rig’s computer inaccurately recorded the speed at 65 mph. In another version, he apparently told officials that he was cut off by another car and forced to slam on his brakes before crashing into the line of stopped vehicles ahead of him.
Witnesses dispute his claims, however.
In a probable cause affidavit, the Sturgeon, Missouri, man admitted he had been distracted, reaching for his iced tea when the first crash took place.
An investigating officer wrote in a report that after the trucker was told that several people had died in the crash, he said “he did not have any remorse.” Instead, he was concerned about the location of his belongings and at which hotel officers would drop him off.
The callous indifference to the tragedy and his role in it is simply stunning.
While most truck drivers are careful, decent people, an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation can pursue justice against those whose recklessness causes harm.