Truck driver get 1 year for fatal muscle relaxer crash

wreckage of Mercedes SUV (Photo: David Wallace/The Republic)

The original story is below. Plea deal dropped the manslaughter and two aggravated assault charges (these are *very* serious felonies, F2 & 3) in exchange for a guilty plea to endangerment (a *very* minor felony, F6). Exactly how the prosecutor cooks up these deals is unknown but it seems hard to understand how this is, if not reckless manslaughter, at least negligent homicide.

It wasn’t mentioned, but one can guess that the drugs mentioned only as “muscle relaxers” were prescription medications that bear the warning to not drive or operate heavy machinery. The driver, presumably, did have an rx for the drugs; though that wasn’t mentioned either. story on the sentencing.

11/19/2014: 1 fatality (possibly a second, later) and several injuries when semi driver Brian Knoll drove into a line of stopped traffic on I-17 near Bell Road. He’s been charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangerment; and entered a plea of not guilty to all charges on 12/3.

The Criminal Case

casenumber CR2014155058 on supreme court caselookup; or search on Maricopa County Superior Court docket. Interesting note is alcohol-impairment normally yields a 2nd degree murder charge. Is the lesser manslaughter charge because it was (prescription?) drugs?

Here’s a new item:

Truck driver Brian Knoll was under the influence of pain medication and showed no remorse after causing a deadly five-car freeway crash Wednesday morning, officials say.
Knoll’s Freightliner — fully loaded with a trailer full of pavers — was traveling north on Interstate 17 about 6:45 a.m. when it plowed into 22-year-old Paul Troupe’s silver sedan, causing it to explode in flames.

The impact killed Troupe, injured his wife, and caused a chain reaction that injured four other motorists. Court records released this morning show Knoll, 54, of Phoenix, tested positive in a preliminary urine test for an opiate-based narcotic and that his behavior was oddly indifferent after being told at least one crash victim was dead. Knoll, who wasn’t injured, apparently didn’t apply the brakes before or after hitting Troupe’s car. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests, had “droopy” eyes and slurred speech, and was seemingly impaired by drugs,…