Distracted I-64 truck driver faces murder charges

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — The Michigan man accused of causing a deadly crash last weekend on I-64 in Franklin County now faces murder charges.

State troopers say 45-year-old Jerry Elder Jr. didn’t realize traffic was slowing down because he was watching a video on his phone while driving.

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Elder was previously charged with manslaughter. Now, according to his indictment, that’s been upgraded to murder.

He’s accused of killing 61-year-old Jeffrey Curtis who died as a result of the multi-vehicle crash.

According to troopers, Elder was driving through a construction zone, but didn’t slow down when other cars did.

The Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney says Elder was watching a television show on his phone mounted on the dash.

Kentucky State Police say that’s when in his fully-loaded tractor-trailer he hit Curtis’ jeep, killing him.

Both the semi and jeep then hit an SUV. State police say the passenger in the SUV was seriously injured.

Troopers also accuse Elder of not wearing his prescription glasses, required by his commercial driver’s license.

His indictment shows he’s also charged with assault and wanton endangerment.

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