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Posted October 23, 2012 | comments 6 Comments

Improper brakes on truck cited in I-81 fatal accident

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 jbeck@nvdaily.com

6 Comments | Leave a comment

    I'm not taking sides in this case, all though I drive and own a truck, but once again the commercial drivers is being discriminated against, because when a car, pick-up,or a recreational vehicle has an accident now matter how serious it maybe that vehicle is never inspected to see if it was safe to be on the highway, and we all know that there is vehicles out here on the roadways that shouldn't be. I believe that everyone no matter what kind of vehicle it may be should be treated the same way and exspecailly these recreational vehicles pulling trailers, vehicles, boats and etc should be required to be D.O.T. Inspected and follow the D.O.T. regulations and have a CDL because they have air brakes and when you hook anything to it that makes it a combination vehicle. There is so much unfairness and coruption in our world that only certain people can live without being discriminated against.

    I am not a trucker but I do agree with mda8389. Tractor trailers should not be the only vehicles that should have to adhere to DOT regulations. Everyone one of us drive the same roads and should be held to the same standards. I am sure that there are some trucks that have been at fault but I constantly see people who drive cars, pick-ups, and SUVs that think that the trucks have to yield or make room for them, especially when entering the interstate. Trucks are alot harder to manuver and to get slowed down and I have no desire to tangle with one. It is much easier for cars, pick-ups, and SUVs to give a little with big trucks and that is the way it should be. We are have places to go. But taking a 10 second or even 1 minute gesture to accomodate a big truck will not hold you that much. This would be much easier than have to deal lost wages, hospitalization or even death. So people please just give a little to those big trucks for they really do have a hard job!

    I just want to clarify that from what I have read it appears that the truck was at fault in this accident. And my comment was not directed in anyway to the folks in the vehicles that were hit. My heart breaks at the loss that was suffered due to this accident. And my God be with those that are need of his healing. My comment was directed to other people who constantly show what I consider disrespect to the big trucks.

    Anytime a truck smashes into the back of a stopped car, there is no need to investigate the roadworthiness of the car. It could have been a brick wall and the truck is still at fault for hitting it. MDA8389's idea is not a bad one, just not applicable in this case.

    Is it possible that the inspections of these "comercial" vehicles are a result of the fact the person driving that potential rolling projectile is a "professional" driver and holds a specific license; "CDL." It seems that an individual that holds and uses such a specific certified license by choice of free will would take more prudence to ensure that the condition and safty of their vehicle would be within the law.These individuals have the privilage to earn income for driving on our state and/or national highway system. I say this with no disrespect to these people , just an expected degree of professionalism that comes with such a dangerous career.

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