The state of Texas has levied manslaughter charges against a truck driver who they say was responsible for killing two motorcyclists when he made a U-turn to avoid a weigh station.
Forty-five year old truck driver Jose Dolores Ascencio was indicted on April 16 for several felony charges, including two counts of second-degree felony manslaughter, two counts of duty in accident involving death, and tampering with a government record with intent to defraud or harm, according to the Victoria Advocate.
The charges stem from a crash that happened on March 10, 2018, on US 77 near Refugio, Texas. Investigators say that around 10:22 p.m., Ascencio was driving a truck northbound in the right lane of US 77 when he reportedly turned left onto a crossover in an attempt to make a U-Turn. As Ascencio made the U-Turn, two motorcyclists who were also northbound on US 77, Glenn Dewayne Bray, 44, and Christine Diane Thames, 50, crashed under the truck’s trailer in the left lane.
Bray and Thames died as a result of their injuries.
Witnesses told police that Ascencio completed the U-Turn and continued onto southbound US 77 without stopping to render aid to the motorcyclists.
DPS troopers later located and arrested Ascencio near Woodsboro, where he informed police that he had made the U-Turn to avoid a weigh station because he did not have a valid CDL. Police say that Ascencio did possess a forged CDL: “It was found that several numbers on the paper copy had been tampered with,” according to court documents.
If convicted, Ascencio could face up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.