22.7 C
New York

Trucker faces arson charges after two of his Peterbilt big rigs burned

Published:

Pennsylvania State Police say that a trucker is facing felony charges after two of his Peterbilt big rigs burned earlier this year.

Thirty year old Pennsylvania trucker Arthur St. Clair has been charged with arson with the intent to collect insurance, reckless burning or explosion, risking a catastrophe, and false insurance claim, according to WTAJ.

The charges stem from a vehicle fire that occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on January 20, 2024, in a lot in Lewiston.

When Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) arrived at the scene, they found a black 1993 Peterbilt parked close to a yellow 1981 Peterbilt, both with fire damage.

St. Clair told troopers that the black Peterbilt caught fire and that the interior of the yellow Peterbilt had also been damaged by fire.

Investigators determined that the fire in the black Peterbilt started on the passenger side of the sleeper berth in a compartment under the bed. Authorities believe the fire was started by plastic oil jugs placed near a heater in the compartment, Fox 43 reports.

After examining the yellow Peterbilt, investigators said that a fire had started on top of a floor mat, causing a one foot by one foot hole to be burned in the mat and the flooring area underneath.

Police said that both fires were intentionally set.

St. Clair told troopers he had not driven either truck in a week due to weather and illness. He said that he had arrived in the lot on the morning of January 20 to ready the yellow Peterbilt for possible sale, then remembered that he forgot his chewing tobacco and went home to retrieve it. He told police he returned twenty minutes later to find the black truck smoking and the yellow truck with a door hanging open and then he called 911. St. Clair also mentioned that the trucks had been vandalized a few weeks before the fire, police said.

Troopers viewed security footage from the area and reported seeing St. Clair going in and out of the yellow Peterbilt several times as well as going back and forth between the black and yellow trucks.

Police also said that the 911 call about the vehicle fire came in from St. Clair about 3 minutes before smoke was visible in the security video.

PSP said St. Clair filed a claim with Progressive for $225,000 for the loss of the trucks.

Troopers also said that St. Clair owed money to several repair shops.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get the hottest daily trucking news

This Week in Trucking

Videos