Truck driver sentenced to 25 years for fatal crash in Kentucky

A truck driver was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday for his role in a September 2019 multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 64 that killed one man and injured another driver in Kentucky.

In late June, Jerry Elder Jr., 47, of Flint, Michigan, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment in Franklin County Circuit Court in Frankfort, Kentucky, after a grand jury indicted him on murder charges in October 2019.

What happened?

Kentucky State Police claim Elder was watching a video on his cellphone mounted to his dashboard when he failed to stop for traffic in a construction zone near exit 58 in the westbound lane on I-64. 

According to the crash report, Elder’s tractor-trailer plowed into the rear of a 2012 Jeep Liberty driven by Jeffrey Curtis, 61, of Bedford, Kentucky, before striking a 2013 Ford Explorer driven by Trina Summers, 61, of Shepherdsville, Kentucky, around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2019.

Curtis was pronounced dead at the scene. Summers and Elder were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Prosecutors say Elder will be eligible for parole after serving five years in the Franklin County Regional Jail in Frankfort.

Click here for more articles by FreightWaves Senior Editor Clarissa Hawes.

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