Trucker involved in fatal 526 accident faces DUI charges in GA
CONYERS, Ga. (WCIV) -- A truck driver scheduled to be in court on a reckless homicide charge as a result of a crash on I-526 in January was arrested earlier this month for DUI in Georgia.
According to a State Police report, 35-year-old Arnold Williams was stopped on Interstate 20 on April 6 after several people called the Newton County Sheriff's Office complaining of a tractor trailer swerving in and out of lanes.
When Georgia State Police officer arrived, Newton County deputies had stopped Williams and were asking him questions. The report states he initially told officers his truck was empty, but later said there was 26 tons of stone he was hauling, but could not say where he was taking the materials.
Officers detected a "fruity alcoholic smell" on Williams and asked him if he had been drinking. He said he had not had anything to drink in several days and consented to a Breathalyzer test.
According to the report, Williams registered a .222 on the machine, which is well above the legal limit. He later rejected an opportunity to take the Breathalyzer again, according to state police.
Williams also had trouble performing several field sobriety tests, stumbling when walking in a straight line and swaying when standing on one foot, the report states.
During a search of his truck, officers found an empty can of Mike's Hard Lemonade in the console above the driver's side visor. He was then arrested, the report states.
According to the report, while the officer was taking Williams to the Rockdale County Jail, Williams asked if it would be possible for him to plead to a charge that night and serve jail time so that he could be out of jail in time for his reckless homicide hearing in Charleston County later this month.
Williams was referencing a case in which he hit a car on I-526 in January, killing 27-year-old Lauren Baccari, a student at Medical University of South Carolina.
Officers at the scene initially charged Williams with felony DUI, according to the report, but the solicitor's office dismissed the charge and charged him with reckless homicide instead.
A police report from North Charleston states that a witness saw Williams take a pack of beer out of the cab of his truck and toss it over the guard rail right after the accident.