Trucker Who Was High and Over Allowable Hours at Time of Deadly Crash is Headed to Prison
Wise County, VA – A trucker who was high on narcotics at the time of a deadly crash earlier this year has been sentenced to over two decades in prison.
On Wednesday, Travis Lee Tolliver, 31, of Jackson, OH, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in connection to a crash that left a young motorist dead at the scene.
“We place the utmost faith and trust in our commercial motor vehicle operators to be the best drivers on the road,” Commonwealth’s Attorney of Wise County Chuck Slemp said.
“Operating a multi-ton truck at high rates of speed is unbelievably dangerous. The utter disregard for the safety of others in this case is unthinkable, driving a big rig while intoxicated by 17 times over the presumptive intoxicated amount of methamphetamine,” he continued.
According to Virginia State Police (VSP) investigators, the deadly accident occurred along U.S. Highway 23 in Wise County on February 24.
Tolliver was driving a 1997 International 9400 and traveling northbound in the southbound lanes when he crashed head-on into a Chevrolet Cruz driven by Amanda Gail Pearson, 20.
Pearson was injured and her passenger, 22-year-old Perry Owens, died at the scene.
Tolliver was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries where he initially refused to provide blood for drug testing.
However, a later analysis of Tolliver’s blood by the Department of Forensic Science found that he was under the influence of methamphetamine, fentanyl and amphetamines at the time of crash.
A subsequent investigation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) determined that on the day of the crash, Tolliver had also failed to maintain records-of-duty-status as required by federal regulations.
Additionally, the Agency said Tolliver had in the days leading up to the crash, on multiple occasions, exceeded the allowable on-duty driving hours and failed to maintain records-of-duty-status.
The FMCSA has since banned Tolliver from operating in interstate commerce.
He was served with the “imminent hazard” out-of-service order on March 5.
In July, Tolliver pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular manslaughter, driving a vehicle while intoxicated with reckless disregard, and driving a vehicle while intoxicated.
He was facing a maximum penalty of 26 years in prison.
Tolliver remains in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail awaiting transfer to the Virginia Department of Corrections.