Trucker gets more than 11 years in 2011 I-40 wreck that killed 3 - WRBL

Trucker gets more than 11 years in 2011 I-40 wreck that killed 3

Posted: Updated:
Ronald Eugene Graybeal was under the influence of drugs when he caused an accident on I-40 in June 2011 that killed 3 people. Ronald Eugene Graybeal was under the influence of drugs when he caused an accident on I-40 in June 2011 that killed 3 people.
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -

A tractor-trailer driver whose rig slammed into cars creeping along in heavy Interstate 40 traffic in North Carolina, killing three drivers, has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

A judge sentenced 52-year-old Ronald Eugene Graybeal on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says the four vehicles damaged in the June 2011 accident had stopped, then began moving at about 5 mph when the 18-wheeler hit a pickup truck. One car caught fire in the deadly chain reaction.

Troopers say Graybeal was driving 65 miles per hour. Investigators said the Newport, Tenn., man was under the influence of drugs at the time of the wreck.

Killed in the accident were 64-year-old Barbara Caldwell, of Mebane; 45-year-old Gary Smith, of Burlington; and 38-year-old John Llanio, of Kannapolis.

Highway Patrol spokesman Jeff Gordon said at the time, "This is one of the worst I've seen in a long, long time, especially with the number of vehicles involved. Any time you have a major interstate such as this, you have higher speeds and when we do have those collisions, they're pretty dramatic in nature."

The accident caused I-40 near 15-501 in Durham County to be closed for at least six hours. The crash remains under investigation to determine the sequence of events.

According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Graybeal was placed on five years probation in 2000 for aggravated burglary. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation website, Graybeal was convicted of rape in 1981 and is on the sex offender registry.

RELATED ARTICLES

* Driver faces DWI charges

 

 

  • Orange CountyMore>>

  • 4 UNC players suspended over 'violations of team policy'

    4 UNC players suspended over 'violations of team policy'

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:10:27 GMT
    Yahoo Sports reported that a redshirt freshman sustained a concussion during a physical altercation with multiple teammates in his room at the Aloft hotel in Chapel Hill.Yahoo Sports reported that a redshirt freshman sustained a concussion during a physical altercation with multiple teammates in his room at the Aloft hotel in Chapel Hill.
    Chapel Hill Police said Wednesday that no incident report had been filed at a hotel where an incident involving UNC football players took place.
    Chapel Hill Police said Wednesday that no incident report had been filed at a hotel where an incident involving UNC football players took place.
  • UNC investigating possible football hazing incident

    UNC investigating possible football hazing incident

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:53 PM EDT2014-08-27 00:53:35 GMT
    Yahoo Sports reported that a redshirt freshman sustained a concussion during a physical altercation with multiple teammates in his room at the A-Loft hotel in Chapel Hill.Yahoo Sports reported that a redshirt freshman sustained a concussion during a physical altercation with multiple teammates in his room at the A-Loft hotel in Chapel Hill.
    UNC is investigating a possible hazing incident with the football team.
    UNC is investigating a possible hazing incident with the football team.
  • UNC launches new safety app

    UNC launches new safety app

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 4:56 PM EDT2014-08-26 20:56:34 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    UNC-Chapel Hill is launching a new app to help keep students and employees safe.
    UNC-Chapel Hill is launching a new app to help keep students and employees safe.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.