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Trucker Held on $100,000 Bail Following Fatal Hit-and-Run

A district judge has set bail at $100,000 for a Newfoundland man who fled the scene of a fatal trucking accident last month.

Hit-and-Run Truck Driver Found in Katy, Texas

According to Great Falls Tribune, Jaroslav Kleberc, of Bell Island, Newfoundland, Canada, is facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including deliberate homicide, tampering with physical evidence, and failure to remain at the scene of an accident in connection with the death of Marvin Knutson, 72, last month.

Officials say that around 10 pm on April 15, a tractor-trailer transporting lumber attempted to use an emergency-vehicle only access turn off to move from the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 to the northbound lanes.

While turning, the semi pulled into the path of a 1997 van driven by Knuston. Knuston was unable to avoid the truck and was pronounced dead that the scene.

Documents allege Kleberc was behind the wheel of the 18-wheeler at the time of the accident and that after checking his load of lumber, Kleberc fled the scene of the crash. Further investigation found that Kleberc had changed trailers and switched license plates following the crash.

Kleberc was eventually arrested in Katy, Texas, more than 1,790 miles from the initial crash.

18-Wheeler Crash Statistics

The following information was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • 438,000 trucking accidents in the U.S. in 2014, resulting in 3,903 deaths and 111,000 injuries.
  • Of those killed in trucking accidents:
    • 17 percent were occupants of large trucks
    • 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles
    • 10 percent were listed as nonoccupants, including bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Texas led the nation in trucking accident fatalities with 553 trucking-related deaths reported. California followed Texas with 300 recorded deaths.

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