Trucker Facing Murder Charge for Watching Video Before Fatal Crash Pleas “Not Guilty”
Franklin County, KY – A Michigan truck driver who police say failed to stop for traffic leading to the death of a Bedford man last month, pleaded not guilty to serious crimes, including murder, in a Franklin County courtroom last week.
On Friday, October 11, Jerry Elder Jr., 45, of Flint, MI, entered not guilty pleas after a grand jury indicted him on charges of murder, a capital offense; first-degree assault, a Class B felony; second-degree assault, a Class C felony; and two counts of wanton endangerment, a Class D felony.
Kentucky State Police (KSP) investigators say Elder 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.
Authorities 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, KSP says.
The female driver of the Explorer, Trina Summers, 61, of Shepherdsville, 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 indicated Elder was watching a television show on his phone, which was mounted on the dash at the time of the fatal crash.
Elder was subsequently indicted last week on more serious charges.
He continues being held in the Franklin County Regional Jail on a $50,000 full-cash bond.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) will continue to follow new developments on this case.