Tennessee Trucker Convicted in Fatal Drunk Driving Crash

A Knox County, Tennessee jury found a truck driver guilty of killing two local residents in March 2016 and faces up to 30 years in prison. 

The 55 year old truck driver was convicted on two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated operating under the influence, two counts of driving to endanger and eight counts of various trucking rule violations, such as false record keeping, driving while fatigued and others. The driver also has 11 other convictions for driving under the influence.

The charges stem from the March 18, 2016 tractor trailer crash that killed a 45 year old woman and a 74 year old man. Another woman was injured with a concussion and broken bones. The crash happened on Route 17 in Washington, Tennessee.

Testimony during the trial showed that the truck driver’s BAC was .090 right after the crash and .073 a few hours later. There also was court testimony that Weddle was going at least 69 miles per hour when he lost control of the truck on a curve on Fitch Rd. The truck had been going 81 miles per hour just before the crash.

The defense argued that the state had not proven that the trucker had acted in a way that was a gross deviation from what a reasonable person would do. But the prosecution said the trucker’s speed alone was enough to find him guilty of manslaughter, but with his previous record and alcohol consumption, should be found guilty and put in prison for many years.

Our View

Our Virginia tractor trailer accident attorneys are relieved this dangerous trucker is going to be removed from society for many years. Truck drivers have a higher obligation to drive in a safe manner. It is tragic when truck drivers engage in reckless behavior that kill other people. This truck driver apparently was intoxicated, fatigued and speeding when he was in the crash that killed two people and injured at least one other.

Responsible truck drivers of course should never drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel. It also is important to not take medication that can make you drowsy, and to never drive more hours than you are legally allowed under federal law. Keeping a healthy diet also helps to keep you awake and alert when you are driving.

Our truck crash attorneys are experienced in these types of cases, and after the criminal case is done, the families may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company for employing such a reckless individual.