Deputies: Darke Co. trucker texting before fatal crash

UPDATE @ 9:20 p.m. (Jan. 15)

A Darke County man pleaded guilty this week to multiple charges after he was allegedly texting while driving a semitruck that caused a fatal crash in Kentucky last January.

Christopher Thornhill, 34, of Rossburg, will be sentenced Feb. 24 in Boone County Circuit Court, online court records show.

Thornhill was driving a tractor-trailer Jan. 29, 2015, north on Interstate 71 in Verona, Kentucky, when he sideswiped an unoccupied car on the shoulder, lost control and crossed the median into the southbound lanes and struck two cars. Mark Sevilla of Lexington was killed, and a 64-year-old Cincinnati woman suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, our media partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.

EARLIER REPORT (May 28, 2015)

A Darke County man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly texting while driving a semitruck that caused a fatal crash in Kentucky early this year.

Christopher Thornhill, 34, of Rossburg, was charged with manslaughter, assault, tampering with evidence, criminal mischief, three federal Department of Transportation logbook violations, a communication device violation and a federal DOT violatio for using a cellphone in a commercial vehicle, according to the Boone County (Kentucky) Sheriff’s Office, our media partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.

Thornhill, then 33, was driving a tractor-trailer Jan. 29 north on Interstate 71 in Verona, Kentucky, when he sideswiped an unoccupied car on the shoulder, then lost control and crossed the median into the southbound lanes and struck two cars. Mark Sevilla of Lexington was killed, and a 64-year-old Cincinnati woman suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, WCPO reported.

According to deputies, Thornhill’s logbook was false. Also, the truck driver had been texting while driving and had deleted text messages from his phone, which authorities were able to recover, WCPO reported.

Texting while driving is illegal for commercial truck drivers, and also is prohibited in Kentucky and Ohio.

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