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Truck driver charged with homicide, DUI, in crash that killed four in on I-81 in Tennessee

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A truck driver is facing multiple charges following a crash that killed several people who were attempting to change a tire along I-81 in Tennessee on Sunday.

The crash occurred around 7 p.m. on March 26 on southbound I-81 near Exit 63 in Kingsport, according to a news release from the Kingsport Police Department (KPD).

Officials say that a white 2017 Chevrolet Express van occupied by eight males was southbound on I-81 when the left front tire went flat. The van driver pulled off on the right shoulder of the interstate. Five of the eight van occupants exited the vehicle to try to fix the tire, while three remained inside the van.

“Shortly thereafter, a red Peterbilt tractor-trailer, driven and solely occupied by Saul A. Carrera (60 years of age of New York, NY), was southbound on Interstate 81. The tractor-trailer veered to the right onto the shoulder, sideswiped the van, and struck all five of the pedestrians who were working to repair the tire. The tractor-trailer continued south a short distance, and then jack-knifed and overturned off the right side of the roadway,” KPD said.

Four of the five pedestrians were killed in the crash. The other pedestrian was hospitalized with major injuries.

Carrera was also injured and transported to a nearby hospital.

The three people who remained inside the van were not injured.

According to KPD, investigators “established probable cause to determine that Mr. Carerra was operating the tractor-trailer while impaired.”

Carrera is facing the following charges:

  • Vehicle Homicide by Intoxication (4 counts)
  • Reckless Aggravated Assault
  • Felony Reckless Endangerment
  • Driving Under the Influence in a Commercial Vehicle
  • Failure to Exercise Due Care

KPD says that Carrera is in stable condition in the hospital under police guard. When he is discharged, police say that he will be transported to jail and issued a $200,000 bond.

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