TruckingIndustry.news

Rampage Truck Driver Pleads Not Guilty To All Charges After Killing Motorist

by Jana Ritter - Published: 7/13/2016

Things have gone from bad to worse for the truck driver arrested last Saturday after a driving rampage that killed a motorist, injured two others and damaged several vehicles in his path.

                                                              Daniel Burnam Williams appears in court

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On Wednesday, 57 year-old Daniel Burnam Williams appeared in a New Jersey courtroom wearing handcuffs and a neck brace with cuts all over his face. Not only is he facing charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree vehicular homicide and second-degree reckless aggravated assault, prosecutors also informed the court of Williams' extensive record of 55 prior arrests in California alone. According to Union County Assistant Prosecutor, Shawn Barnes, Williams’ record includes at least eight felony convictions and numerous arrests for crimes involving drugs, alcohol and domestic violence. Barnes added that Williams also has three arrests for providing false identification and has used 10 different aliases and eight separate social security numbers. Not to mention, he has a whole other arrest record from his other home state of Colorado.

                                                               Truck driver pleads not guilty to all charges

When Barnes got into the charges at hand, he presented the judge with the timeline of events that started shortly after midnight on Saturday, July 9. "The defendant operated a Freightliner truck recklessly on the streets Elizabeth for 3½ miles," Barnes said. "He was driving in a deliberately evasive manner to avoid police cars that were positioned to stop him." He continued to allege that Williams barreled through a barricade, then sped down several streets and rammed into a car, immediately killing the driver identified as 24 year-old Jeffrey Oakley of Elizabeth, NJ. Barnes continued to describe the chain of events until police were finally able to remove Williams from his vehicle. Barnes told the court that police had detected a strong odor of alcohol when they removed him from the vehicle. 

                                                                Jeffrey Oakley was killed in trucker rampage

Judge Brenda Coppola Cuba heard the charges and proceeded to direct questions at Williams himself, which he answered only by nodding his head from behind the glass window. "Can you answer?" Cuba finally asked him. Williams then answered into the microphone, "Yes, judge."

Williams' court appointed attorney, John Johnson of the Public Defender's Office, entered not guilty pleas to all the charges. It is uncertain as to how he will approach the difficult job of defending his client. Johnson also requested Williams' bail be reduced from $2 million to $500,000, arguing that the injuries he suffered from the incident render him an unlikely flight risk. Although police had fired shots at Williams during the chase and earlier reports said he was struck once, there was no indication of any gunshot wounds when he appeared in court. Barnes immediately opposed the bail reduction, reminding the judge of Williams’ extensive arrest record and history of aliases. Cuba sided with the prosecutor and kept Williams' bail at $2 million.


Tony Lazzara
Tony Lazzara
I'm all for giving a felon a 2nd chance but 55 priors , seriously I had a guy with a 4 yo dui I couldn't hire , he wanted to work , made me sick
Victor Collins
Victor Collins
But according to the article he had 55 prior arrests. But it doesn't say a word on how many convictions. Arrested doesn't indicate guilty.
Trucking Unlimited
Trucking Unlimited
"According to Union County Assistant Prosecutor, Shawn Barnes, Williams’ record includes at least eight felony convictions..."
Jesus Brito Jr.
Jesus Brito Jr.
Why was this asshole allowed to drive a Rig in the first place.. He should have been looked up a long time ago.. He gives each and every one of us Truckers a bad name.. I've been trucking 21yrs and my record is stopless and I'm proud of that..
Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson
Your record is better than the auto correct on your phone😂😂😂
Mike Bendall
Mike Bendall
The reason he was allowed to drive is because there are greedy own/operators that run more than 1 truck and need any idiot with a class A cdl, and they're willing to look the other way when it comes to felons with whatever kind of record. He'll probably plead insanity.
Terry Davis
Terry Davis
Remember, this was Californicate....those stupid liberal f**ks think they could have rehabilitated Ted Bundy!
Alicja Zuber
Alicja Zuber
Who hired him as truck driver ???
Jay Day
Jay Day
U could be your own boss wtf u talking about
Alicja Zuber
Alicja Zuber
Talking from the point of view of trucking company owner ... It happens I know what's involved in hiring a driver whether you work for yourself or not . Learn about it before you make stupid comment like that .
Jay Day
Jay Day
Are u a truck driver ? I been driving for 8 years I'm now an owner operator since nobody wouldn't hire me....I could do what the hell I want charge 180 an hour for detention.... Lady don't tell me about trucking
Sally Chambers
Sally Chambers
Alicja Zuber - I was wondering the same thing. I've actually managed an auto haul division in my past & have also driven for 23 yrs. I thought 'own authority' as well. But the article also says he used aliases & different SS#'s. This individual certainly isn't the norm that's for sure. If he ran under his own authority he's pretty much immune to background problems. They'd only come in to play if he wanted HAZMAT endorsement. Much of the qualifications required are company generated. When one man is the company those standards aren't so strict.
Sally Chambers
Sally Chambers
And Jay Day - be a gentleman. :) ♡
Alicja Zuber
Alicja Zuber
Sally Chambers I have to admit that it didn't cross my mind this guy would be an independent trucker . Why ? Because I think it is so much to handle these days in order to have your own authority ! The crazy guy driving drunk just doesn't appear in my head as a truck owner and businessman. I have been trucking for last 14 years , been O/O for last 6 . In order to get my own authority I had to join the drug&alcohol consortium , been drug tested couple times , been audited by DOT , insurance it's a big part of it , I don't know how you can get decent insurance these days with bad records . I myself pay 13K for a year with perfect record . You are right thou those rules are not that strict , but realistically I think it's hard . Clearly thou wether you are independent or not you you can be a trucker and criminal at the same time !
Darrin Dowell
Darrin Dowell
This crap pisses me off. Due Process - YES. But there is NO dispute to the actions he took. So now, why do my taxes have to go to pay to defend him, house and feed him, and get him medical attention. That money would be better spent on helping veterans rather than this POS.
Sally Chambers
Sally Chambers
Agreed
Bill Keene
Bill Keene
Because our judicial system sucks. As a,witness you are sworn to tell the truth under penalty of law but the the "officers" of the court fear and hate truth above all else. All Lawyers should burn in hell.
Dennis Dunaway
Dennis Dunaway
55 arrest in California with 8 felonies. They said he also had a extensive arrest record in Colorado. This is someone that just doesn't care.
Samuel Lee
Samuel Lee
Western Express will hire him... In s hundred years.... If he passes the physical. ...
Michael Cummings
Michael Cummings
Had to be driving for one of the Bottom Feeder Companies.
Victor Collins
Victor Collins
The driver has no choice but to plead Not Guilty. If he pleads guilty none of the facts of the case would ever be known.
Brian Toth
Brian Toth
Call Hillary. The bitch will set him free!!! Lmao... He's screwed...
Sally Chambers
Sally Chambers
LOL
Steven Hill
Steven Hill
Really wtf hires someone like that ,they should be shut down
Elwood Decker
Elwood Decker
Is his last name Clinton?... Only way he gets out of this one.
Ray Young
Ray Young
Looks like his neck hurts.....just shake him till he admits it!
David Michael Quickel
David Michael Quickel
This Cat needs to be thrown under Prison for life
Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson
The dragon told me to do it!
Terry Davis
Terry Davis
A real bang up job of screening drivers....wtf
Sally Chambers
Sally Chambers
The article said he used aliases & several different SS #'s.
Virginio Garcia
Virginio Garcia
Talk about being fucked...what a dumbass
Jeffrey Michalesko
Jeffrey Michalesko
What a douche
Nicholas Monn
Nicholas Monn
His mother should have swallowed.
Ken Helton
Ken Helton
Hillary defense.
Tom Fourman
Tom Fourman
Can you say Complete Idiot?
Shirley Dale High
Shirley Dale High
They always do that.
Edward Fleckenstein
Edward Fleckenstein
Give him life without parole
Douglas Coulthard
Douglas Coulthard
Why not Hillary did
Michael Cummings
Michael Cummings
The New Breed of truck driver.
Shawn Brinker
Shawn Brinker
My dad was a truck driver, old school. He had a custom peterbilt, he was a drunken, selfish piece of trash who was hammer down at all times. He caused quite a few accidents and considered himself a "Knight of the Road". A lot of the truckers he ran with were just as drunk and reckless as he was. So, you'll understand why I roll my eyes every time I here how much better the old school guys are than the new school guys. There were good and bad drivers back then, just like there are good and bad now. Most of the drivers I know now are safe and competent. I have met my fair share of idiots though, but that's nothing new.
Sue Domenico
Sue Domenico
Jail for life. Who the hell did he work for
James Disanto
James Disanto
Reak Davidson