Truck Driver Faces Reckless Driving Charges in VirginiaPosted on Feb 13, 2011
Danny Lee Heath, the truck driver who started the chain of events, of Atkins, Va., said he passed out during a coughing attack and doesn't remember anything. Virginia State Police said that Heath's truck jackknifed across I-81. Sgt. Rob Carpentieri, state police spokesman, said that the tractor-trailer "ran off the left side of the road, crashed through the guardrail, went through the median and into the southbound lanes."
The crash resulted in two deaths. John Henry Murphy, the 63-year-old driver of the other large truck, of Columbus Ga., died as well as a driver of a passenger vehicle, 28-year-old Claudia Cervantes, of Radford, who was a Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce employee. There were three others injured in the crash including two passengers in Cervantes' car and one passenger in Heath's truck.
Heath's tractor-trailer struck another large truck and vehicle, causing Heath's rig to open, spilling 20 tons of sawdust on I-81. The mess took crews about ten hours to clean up.
Police are now requesting that lab tests including urine samples, blood tests and blood-alcohol tests that Heath took in the hospital be turned over to them.
Heath is facing charges of reckless driving in Virginia as well as failure to maintain proper control of his vehicle.