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Log truck driver pleads guilty, gets 40 years for crash that killed 2 in Arkansas

by Brandon Riddle | September 21, 2016 at 11:21 a.m.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STATON BREIDENTHAL, file — 6/2/14 — A construction worker overlooks the scene of a double-fatality accident on the evening of June 2 near the intersection of Highway 65 and Highway 16 in Clinton. Officials said a log truck lost control and slid onto a bridge under construction, killing two workers and injuring 19 others.

A log truck driver who tested positive for methamphetamine at the time of a 2014 fatal crash in Van Buren County has been sentenced to 40 years after pleading guilty this week to numerous charges, including two counts of negligent homicide.

Jerry L. Hickman, 41, of Bee Branch entered the plea Monday before Judge H.G. Foster in Van Buren County Circuit Court on the negligent-homicide charges as well as 10 counts of first-degree battery and six counts of second-degree battery, records show.

The June 2, 2014, crash occurred at 3:18 p.m. near the Archey Creek bridge in Clinton when the Piterbilt TTL that Hickman was driving south on U.S. 65 had a blowout on the left rear of its trailer, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.

The truck's load then shifted, causing the trailer to overturn and spill logs onto a road and bridge being worked on by a construction crew as part of a widening project.

Two construction workers — Ricardo Trochez, 40, of Atkins and Hubert Keith Moore, 51, of Chester — were struck by logs and killed. Nineteen others were injured.

A toxicology report noted that the methamphetamine content in Hickman's blood at the time of the crash was at 0.54.

According to court filings, Hickman was also ordered to pay $15,525.52 in restitution to Mobley Contractors of Morrilton.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Jerry L. Hickman, 41, of Bee Branch

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