Asphalt Truck Driver Found Guilty in Careless Driving Death
Published on September 27, 2017
GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – Tyler Meeds never panicked or pushed his brakes before he slammed into the back of a sitting car on Highway 52 on July 21, 2016.
The collision created a domino effect, ultimately forcing a car into oncoming traffic. The person in that car, June Schmidt, 75, of Firestone, was hit by an 18-wheeler and later died of her injuries. Two others were also injured in the incident and continue to recover from their wounds.
Today, a jury found Meeds, 29, of Arvada, guilty of triggering the crash and convicted him of Careless Driving Causing Death and two counts of Careless Driving Causing Injury. Meeds, who works for a local asphalt company, was on the job at the time and driving a 22,000-pound truck attached with a trailer when he rammed into the back of a car waiting in traffic.
During closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Lillie Parker said Meeds was careless from the moment he got into the truck for work. “This case is all about what he did not do,” Parker said. “He didn’t hit the brakes. He didn’t inspect his work truck before getting in it. And he wasn’t paying attention to the cars in front of him. His head was down.”
Meeds also testified that, despite repeated warnings, he disregarded multiple dashboard warnings that his trailer was not correctly connected to the truck, which likely contributed to the impact of the crash.
“He was coming so fast and so hard and not slowing down that the other cars pinged off him,” Parker continued. “It was like he came through like a train. He was careless and he didn’t pay attention.”
Meeds will be sentenced on December 15, when he faces up to one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine on each count.