Jennifer Edwards Baker reports:
A 64-year-old truck driver has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the 2011 death of a University of Cincinnati student on Interstate 75 in Lockland.
Paul Lallier signed and submitted a written guilty plea to misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide and and obstructing official business in the March 28, 2011, death of Dylan Morrison, 22, of West Chester, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced.
If convicted of all charges, Lallier faces the possibility of a year in jail.
Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman will hold a hearing to accept the plea and sentence him.
“Hopefully with today’s charges and the resolution of this case, Mr. Morrison’s family will feel that justice has been served and find some comfort,” Deters said in a statement.
Lallier was employed as a commercial truck driver for the Burkett Trucking Company in Hamilton at the time of the fatal crash, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Lallier was driving a triple axle semi truck pulling a multi-wheeled dump trailer equipped with two full-time axels and two drop axles.
About 9:30 a.m., Lallier was driving his truck on northbound I-75 near the Shepherd Lane exit when one of the drop axles on the trailer dropped. A wheel on the dump truck trailer fell off, and bounced or rolled across several lanes of traffic.
The wheel hit the concrete median and went airborne, flying into the southbound lanes.
That’s when it crashed into Morrison’s windshield. It bounced off his car and hit another car.
The UC student was pronounced dead at the scene. The highway was shut down for several hours.
Lallier stopped, but only briefly, and then continued, heading back to the trucking company.
Mechanics began to repair and replace the missing wheel.
The wheel fell off the truck because it had not been bolted down properly. The wheel broke off the lug bolts holding it in place.