Georgia Truck Driver Given Five Years of Probation for Fatal Missouri Crash
COLUMBIA, MO. – According to an online news report from abc17news.com, a truck driver from Georgia has been given five years of probation in connection with a fatal vehicle crash that occurred in 2015 in Boone County, Missouri.*
In 2015, Anthony West, of Georgia, was driving a tractor-trailer westbound on Interstate 70 in Boone County. A crash had occurred on the interstate up ahead of where West was driving, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol had posted road signs warning about slowed and stopped traffic. West did not pay attention to the signs and failed to reduce his speed.
As he approached the traffic jam, West’s 18-wheeler truck crashed into the back of a passenger vehicle on the interstate and then into the back of another tractor-trailer before finally coming to a rest. The driver of the passenger vehicle, 79-year-old Margaret Haile, of Auxvasse, Missouri, died in the wreck.
The state filed involuntary manslaughter charges against West, and West pleaded guilty to the charges. However, the judge overseeing the case tossed the plea after discovering that West had made several statements about the accident that conflicted with the official record. Before West was scheduled to stand trial in June 2017, the judge excluded several pieces of key state evidence, and prosecutors opted not to go to trial at that time.
Charges of involuntary manslaughter were refiled against West in December 2018, and he again pleaded guilty the week of January 7, 2019. West waived his right to formal arraignment, and the judge accepted his plea.
The judge sentenced West to four years in prison but suspended that sentence and gave West five years of probation. As a condition of probation, West will be prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle. The judge also granted him leave to move back to Georgia.
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