Vehicular manslaughter charge filed a year after 7-year-old girl was killed on I-15Published at | Updated at
BLACKFOOT — A 61-year-old man faces a year in jail and a $2,000 fine following the death of a young girl in 2015.
Terry E Laeger, has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after investigators found he operated a commercial truck with minimal tire tread.
The accident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 when what was described by state police as “catastrophic failure” of the front left tire of a 2000 Freightliner commercial truck.
Laeger, the driver of the Freightliner, told police he lost control of his vehicle when the tire blew. Witnesses to the accident corroborated the blown tire and the loss of control.
When Laeger lost control, he crossed into the median and crashed head-on into a 2007 Chevrolet pickup carrying four children and their mother as the driver, according to the Idaho State Police accident report.
The mother was taken by air ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center. Three other children in the pickup were taken by ground ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center.
A 7-year-old girl was pronounced dead on the scene.
The driver of the semi was not hospitalized for injuries, but did give a voluntary blood sample.
When police asked Laeger how much weight he was carrying in the truck, he told them “pretty close to legal,” according to the ISP accident report.
Police took possession of what was left of the front left tire that had blown. Police reports show that the tread had been warn down on a major portion of the tread, in some spots below 2/32 of an inch. State law says it is a violation if tread depth goes below 4/32 of an inch.
Laeger was charged on Nov. 22 and is due in court for arraignment on Dec. 15 in Bingham County.