By Joe Beck
Authorities have issued a charge of reckless driving - operating with improper brakes against the truck driver involved in a fatal crash that killed two people on Interstate 81 in Frederick County on Oct. 5.
State police said after the accident that the driver, Lance W. Anderson of Hudson, S.D., had been issued a citation for general reckless driving.
But Frederick County Commonwealth's Attorney Glenn R. Williamson said an inspection of Anderson's 2007 Peterbilt tractor-trailer the night of the accident revealed faulty brakes. Williamson also said the case remains under investigation and additional charges are possible.
A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 3 in Frederick County General District Court.
Authorities said the truck crashed into the rear of a 1998 Jeep Cherokee driven by Heather Lee Santor of Staunton. She and another passenger in the Jeep, Acoye M. Breckenridge, 18, also of Staunton, died at the scene of the crash in the southbound lane of I-81 south of Va. 37.
Another passenger, Zackary Santor, 18, of Staunton escaped the wreckage of the Jeep as it caught fire. He was helped to safety by a passenger in the third vehicle that had been hit by the Jeep as part of a chain reaction caused by the initial impact with the truck. Both vehicles had been stopped in construction zone traffic at the time of the accident.
Trooper B.G. Davis, who issued the initial citation to Anderson, cited driver inattention as a factor in the crash. Anderson reported no injury from the crash.
The state law under which Anderson is charged reads: "A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes on any highway in the Commonwealth."
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org