TruckingIndustry.news

Criminal Charges Dropped Against Trucker in Fatal I-80 Pile-Up

by Jana Ritter - Published: 4/22/2015

Authorities have dropped the aggravated vehicular homicide charge against the Canadian truck driver who allegedly caused Monday's fiery chain reaction crash that involved 60 vehicles, killed 2 people and shut down the major I-80 trucking corridor in southeast Wyoming.

                                              I-80 Crash

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The foggy, slick road conditions were more likely what caused the crash, as it was the second weather-related pileup to shut down the same corridor in less than a week. While the incident still remains under investigation, Albany County prosecuting attorney, Peggy Trent, issued a statement Tuesday saying that Alex Dragaytsev of Longueuil, Canada, was released from custody and the criminal charges against him dropped. Instead, he was cited for failure to use caution for hazardous conditions, which carries a $60 fine that he can challenge or pay by April 28. 

"We did not feel that there was, from the investigation that was completed at this point, that we could proceed with the charge at this point," Trent said.

The crash occurred about 8 a.m. Monday 18 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming and shut down traffic for about 100 miles in both directions on the interstate 80, a major trucking corridor used by more than 6,000 trucks per day. According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, the incident started with a commercial truck that jackknifed in both westbound lanes and caused dozens of other vehicles to pile into one another.

"I come out of the fog, and boom, there was the wreck," said truck driver Jeff Blair. Blair said that another truck immediately rear-ended his tractor-trailer, but he was able to avoid further damage by pulling into the median.

Many others involved in the 60-vehicle pile-up weren’t so lucky. The Wyoming Highway Patrol identified two motorists who were killed in the crash as Lynn Freeman, 58, of Arkansas, and Jenay L. Breden, 23 of Colorado. Approximately 20 to 25 people suffered injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital.

A 22,000-gallon tanker carrying a flammable liquid was among the vehicles that caught fire, but fortunately that truck driver escaped injuries and no hazardous materials leaked. Authorities say the fire has complicated the investigation into the exact cause of the crash and that many large tractor-trailers that had to be removed immediately in order to repair the road. Crews were finally able to reopen the I-80 on Tuesday, about 32 hours after the tragic incident occurred.

Foggy weather conditions also caused another major crash in Colorado last week, involving a tour bus and a tractor-trailer. The tour bus carrying Brooklyn-based performer, Twin Shadow, hit the tractor-trailer Friday on a foggy stretch of Interstate 70. Both the bus driver and the band’s drummer remain hospitalized in serious condition.


Idali Valencia-Vargas
Idali Valencia-Vargas
Now that's good news! Blessings to him and everyone involved in the incident♡
Roxann Brousseau
Roxann Brousseau
I hope that this doesn't hurt his career.
Jay Mcclanahan
Jay Mcclanahan
I hope it does. Hes Canadian there worse than rag heads
Roxann Brousseau
Roxann Brousseau
Either way, he still has a family
Donald Gough
Donald Gough
They were looking to hang someone. How about that. Wana bet they had dash cam video from the truck. And pulled info off recorder on tractor. Found out he was driving responsibilty. Now ..we're sorry. Sue them for false imprisonment. Fuckers
Chuck Carroccio
Chuck Carroccio
You're a fuckin idiot
Donald Gough
Donald Gough
No chuck carroccio. The only idiot here is you. Chiming in on something you know nothing about. But because you wear a rubber helmet. I'll forgive you. Asswipe
Jay Mcclanahan
Jay Mcclanahan
Bullshit...the freakin Canada trucks come over here and kill people and get away with it...if it was a usa driver we would be screwed....this is bullshit...Canadian trucks are terrorists...im a 20 year vet in the industry and im sick of these dumb ass Canadian trucks ruining it for the rest...put him in prison
Rory Geiger
Rory Geiger
Elogs have taken the safety out of trucking. People with e logs are trying to get most out of their day including speeding where truck can due to lower speed limit to compensate for governed truck. Get rid of e logs and require more training of new drivers and roads will be safer
Margot Mendez Harvey
Margot Mendez Harvey
Those Canadians are stinking hot dogging, tail gating bullies. And those pile ups are caused by cluster f... Idiots driving too fast and too close for conditions!!
Jay Mcclanahan
Jay Mcclanahan
The government needs to see how many Canadian trucks are in death related accidents in the usa
Dorothy Long-Leinenbach
Dorothy Long-Leinenbach
Even me asa trucker didnt think that waz fair🚛💨
Howard Smith
Howard Smith
I haven't watched the videos, but I am interested in the 22,000 gallon tanker. I'm not an expert but I know liquids weigh in the neighborhood of 6-8 pounds per gallon so even on the low side of that that would mean that truck had 132,000 pounds of cargo plus the weight of the truck. Unless this was a doubles set up I don't see how this is legal. I haul oversize loads and it is not legal for us to move a divisible load, meaning if it is multiple pieces or you can simply reduce the amount of cargo without affecting the integrity of the commodity you cannot get a permit to move it. Like I said, maybe it was doubles.
Alan McCoach
Alan McCoach
Howard Smith, the 22,000 gallons is not likely accurate. Probably just the writer pulling a number out of his ass.
Dave Brendel
Dave Brendel
Speeding to fast for conditions
Thad Nations
Thad Nations
Oh look ch2 action news in Atlanta Ga isn't put this on Facebook
Casey Bennett
Casey Bennett
All that stupid gathered in one place. Something bad was gonna happen.
Dave Schultz
Dave Schultz
JayMcClanahan you just calm your bad self ...watch the videos ..I my self had seen a lot of ppl going to fast
Marvin Witte
Marvin Witte
Slow DOWN