In a preliminary hearing on Jan. 5, a Berks County district judge found sufficient evidence to send a case about a seven-vehicle accident to trial. The crash took place on May 12, 2014, and the man going to trial faces charges for three felony counts of homicide by vehicle. Authorities say that the accident occurred on Interstate 78 East when a 56-year-old man, who is from New Jersey, failed to accommodate slow traffic while driving a tractor-trailer, and his truck hit a car driven by a 52-year-old Allentown man in the left lane. The impact sent the car forward into other vehicles, and the Allentown man died after his car burst into flames. Other fires erupted due to the first one, and one of the vehicle fires killed a 57-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman, who were both from York.
The semi driver tried to back up when the fire started, but one of the flaming vehicles was stuck underneath his tractor-trailer. The truck caught fire, but the driver was able to escape the vehicle. The truck driver and five other people survived the wreck.
The Pennsylvania State Police conducted an investigation and found that the semi driver was negligent and reckless. The driver did not heed two electronic signs that warned about slow traffic due to a right-lane closure, and the man started driving his truck only 90 minutes after a flight from Arizona to Newark.
In this case, the authorities used airline and cell phone records when investigating, but other methods like interviewing witnesses or using any surveillance footage available might also be employed during an investigation. When evidence shows that drivers who were reckless or negligent caused car accidents, these drivers may be responsible for the injuries victims suffer.
Source: Lehigh Valley Live, "Trucker in Interstate 78 triple-fatal accident faces trial", Kurt Bresswein, Jan. 5, 2015