Trucker Facing Murder Charge After Police Say He Was Watching Video Before Fatal Crash

Franklin County, KY – A Michigan trucker is facing a murder charge after authorities say he was watching a video on his phone when he failed to stop for traffic along Interstate 64 last month, resulting in a deadly collision.

Kentucky State Police (KSP) said 45-year-old truck driver Jerry Elder Jr. of Flint, MI, was operating westbound on I-64 near exit 58 just after 5:30 p.m. on September 30 when he failed to slow for traffic in a construction zone.

Investigators say Elder’s tractor-trailer plowed into the rear of a 2012 Jeep Liberty killing its driver, 61-year-old Jeffrey Curtis of Bedford, KY.


The Jeep Liberty and the semi then hit the back of a 2013 Ford Explorer, a statement from KSP says.

The female driver of the Explorer and Elder were both treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Following the crash, authorities charged Elder with second-degree manslaughter.

However, upon further investigation, the Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney says evidence will prove Elder was watching a television show on his phone, which was mounted on the dash at the time of the fatal crash.


Further, officials allege Elder was not wearing his prescription glasses, which his commercial driver’s license requires him to do.

Elder now faces a murder charge, along with assault and wanton endangerment, according to the indictment.

He is being held at the Franklin County Detention Center.

Photo courtesy Franklin County Detention Center


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