Trucker Sentenced for Death of 3 Teens in Crash
It was a sad day in May 2015 when a truck driver’s actions led to the deaths of three teenagers. The teens were riding along in a car on their way back from football camp when the car they were riding in was rear-ended by a semi.
At a construction zone, workers were coordinating traffic in the crowded area. Normand Lavoie was driving his semi and claims he did not see the signs warning drivers to slow their speed as they approached the zone.
Lavoie rear-ended the vehicle that was carrying 17-year-old Carter Stevenson, 15-year-old Kristian Skalicky, and 14-year-old Justin Gaja. The impact was so severe that it pushed the vehicle into a pickup truck. The force pushed the truck out of the road, causing it to strike and injure Samuel Fetherston, who had been flagging traffic at the zone. Lavoie is also being charged for these injuries as well.
Lavoie received a threeyear sentence for his role in the accident, though the judge was adamant about the true damage done by the crash. No amount of time served would be able to reverse things and bring back those who were lost in the accident. The judge said: “There is no remedy for the total destruction caused as a result of Normand Lavoie’s inattention, for whatever reason, as he drove his huge semi-trailer through the construction zone on that fateful day over two years ago.”
The judge made it clear she was well aware of the family’s pain, and that the true damage could not be remedied. The victims all died on impact, and Fetherston is still recovering from injuries as of Lavoie’s sentencing.
Lavoie said the flat landscape had him in a state of “auto pilot,” causing him to overlook the warning signs on the side of the road before he reached the area. While he did admit to being tired, the 41-year-old driver claims he did not fall asleep at the wheel. After the crash, he was diagnosed with sleep apnea as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The judge noted the driver was very remorseful and unlikely to offend again. After his release from prison, he won’t be able to return to driving for five years.