BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A semi driver has been formally charged for a crash that killed three people, including a young child.
34-year-old Matthew Small, of Grandville, Michigan, faces three felony counts of reckless homicide.
Small has an initial hearing at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Investigators say he was behind the wheel of a semi that rammed into eight vehicles on Sunday morning near the Zionsville exit on Interstate 65.
Killed in the crash were Mariah Tomey, 21; Hadley Tomey, 1; and Kaylee Kirk, 19, all of Lebanon. Fourteen others were sent to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Small said he looked down to set down his coffee mug and ran into slowing traffic. He also said he was talking to his wife on a headset connected to his cell phone.
Small told investigators that he blacked out and when he came to, he “pulled to the side of the road as fast as he could,” according to court documents.
Small told investigators that the next thing he remembers is people beating on his door, them asking for his fire extinguishers and them telling he needed to get out of his truck.
In a later interview with investigators, Small said he didn’t think that he blacked out or had a seizure, “he just felt that everything just happened so quickly and is all a blur,” according to court documents.
Small says he did not have cruise control turned on.
Boone County Prosecutor Kent Eastwood released this statement:
“First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the Tomey and Kirk families as they cope with this tragedy. From a legal standpoint, this matter is still under investigation and we will be working closely with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and the other responding agencies to ensure that a thorough investigation is completed. Once the investigation is final, this office will review the evidence to determine what if any additional action should be taken. Given the status of the investigation and that this matter is now pending in a criminal court, there will be no further comment from the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office.”
On Monday, Boone County authorities released a hand-written note on behalf of Small.
“My heart and prayers are with the families,” it read. “I am in agony over this whole ordeal.”
(Photo provided by WISH-TV.)