June 27–JEFFERSON COUNTY — A trucker from Texas whose commercial license was suspended a year ago was charged Monday in a deadly crash along Interstate 55 in Jefferson County.
Charles A. Robinson, 33, of Beaumont, Texas, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in a three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon in a construction zone on northbound I-55 near Highway A.
The 1:40 p.m. crash killed Meschel J. Reed, 45, of Jackson, Miss., and injured four other people, the Missouri Highway Patrol said. Robinson failed to stop and his Ford F-450 towing a flatbed trailer rear-ended a Ford Focus and a Chevrolet Traverse.
The driver of the Focus, Gilbert Reed, 57, of Richland, Miss., was seriously injured, and passenger Edward Reed, 42, of Jackson, Miss., had moderate injuries. The driver of the Traverse, Ira B. Hicks, 60, of Jackson, suffered moderate injuries, while a passenger, Jacqueline Hicks, 61, also of Jackson, had minor injuries.
Charges say Robinson told troopers he swerved to avoid slowing traffic but could not avoid hitting the other cars. Witnesses told troopers they saw Robinson get out of his truck but hop back in and drive off. A trooper said Robinson stopped only after his pickup broke down.
State troopers said in court documents that Robinson’s trailer brakes failed at the time of the crash and that the name of Robinson’s motor carrier was not properly displayed on his vehicle. Troopers said Robinson was ordered by police in Texas to stop driving for lack of a medical certificate and commercial license, both requirements for truckers, last July.
A May 31 inspection in Texas renewed those suspensions; he was also ticketed in Ohio on June 19 for driving on a suspended license and failing to pay fines in Ohio.
Robinson was released from the Jefferson County Jail on Saturday after a bail bondsman posted $50,000 on his behalf, court records say.
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