Trucker Admits Making “False Statements” In Aftermath Of Fatal Two-Big Rig Crash
Queensbury, NY – A truck driver could be facing criminal charges after police say he made “false statements” about a fatal crash involving two big rigs on Wednesday in Warren County.
New York State Police (NYSP), along with other emergency responders, were dispatched to the scene of a crash involving two tractor-trailers at approximately 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The collision occurred on I-87 in the northbound lanes near Exit 18, according to NYSP.
Investigators were originally told by truck driver Everon J. Meadows, 50, of Springfield, Massachusetts, that he pulled his truck over to the shoulder to check on a mechanical issue.
Meadows is employed by Salisbury, North Carolina-based ADUSA Transportation LLC, and was hauling a load of produce bound for Hannaford Supermarket in Queensbury, police said.
Meadows told investigators he exited his truck and moments later another big rig plowed into the rear of his tractor-trailer.
Authorities said the driver of the second big rig, who was hauling a load of fertilizer and paper products for Lebanon, Pennsylvania-based trucking company New Penn Motor Express, perished at the scene.
“Both tractors burst into flames,” said Warren County Fire Coordinator Brian LaFlure. “It turned into a big mess.”
West Glens Falls Fire Chief Jeff Dailey said that by the time firefighters arrived, “It was fully involved.”
Officials believe they have identified the deceased driver through DNA and dental records, but have not yet released his name.
An investigation team was on the scene for hours as clean up crews worked to clear the charred wreckage.
Investigators used drone photography and computerized reconstruction to analyze where the vehicles collided.
Officials began to suspect that Meadows didn’t tell them the truth about what happened.
On Thursday authorities once again spoke to Meadows after having gathered evidence from the scene.
This time, Meadows changed his story, according to police.
Meadows told police he actually fell asleep and crashed his semi-truck into the guardrail moments before the second crash.
According to investigators, Meadows’ truck overturned in the first crash resulting in the cab blocking a portion of roadway when the second big rig collided with it.
Further, police said they have spoken to at least one witness who saw a truck believed to be Meadows’ driving “erratically” in the area moments before the crash.
Additionally, investigators said another motorist, who claimed to be a witness to the scene, called 911 to report a truck rollover at Exit 18 shortly before the collision was reported.
Authorities are now considering criminal charges against Meadows.
“Once we conclude the investigation and have all of the facts we will make that determination,” NYSP Senior Investigator Bill Shea said.
According to a new report from local news outlet The Post Star, a spokesman for ADUSA Transportation, Erin DeWaters, confirmed Meadows has been suspended.
“The associate involved … has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. We are cooperating fully with authorities,” she said in an email.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow the story.
(images shared courtesy of Erica Miller/The Daily Gazette)
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