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Fatal Route 22 Accident Trial

Catastrophe striking a local family, from a fatal coal truck crash.

70-year-old, Leonard Hite was at judge David Beyer’s office, on Wednesday. This following accusations of “careless driving” resulting in death, and running a red light at the south center street and U.S. 22 stoplight intersection. Prosecutors say this resulted in the death of the victims Richard and Therese Dow, plus their dog.

Hite even attempted to speak with the victims family as he was leaving.

Witnesses testifying that the coal truck did not appear to slow down last may but swerve at the last second, before hitting the SUV, that the victims were in. They said the SUV did have the green light with Hite testifying that his light was instead green.

One witness told the judge that there was “no doubt” in their mind that they saw a red light for Hite.

Others saying they heard people yelling “you just killed those people.”

The prosecution playing camera footage showing an area next to where the crash happened providing prosecutors reinforcement to when witnesses say they saw cars moving.

“This was a case where video was certainly helpful, because it helped us sort of determine the timeline of when vehicles were moving through the intersection.

“You can make a mistake on the roadway and have serious consequences in life. But from a criminal perspective, it’s relatively minor consequences, because it’s just unintentional.”

The defense closing, saying the prosecutors witnesses statements are unclear. The prosecution closed, listing the multiple sources they’ve provided, and saying that each testimony from them “was clear.”

‘Hite’ is not sentenced to prison time. He was ordered by judge Beyer to pay around $500 and is losing his license for 6 months.

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