A truck driver was arrested Friday in Virginia and charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of aggravated drunken driving in an accident March 18 that killed two local residents in the Knox County town of Washington.

Randall Weddle, 53, of Greenville, Tennessee, who was carrying lumber in a tractor-trailer that police said strayed into oncoming traffic on Route 17, was arrested on warrants issued by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, according to a statement Friday night on the office’s Facebook page.

The manslaughter charges are Class A felonies, while the two counts of aggravated operating under the influence are Class B felonies.

Weddle was arrested by the Russell County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia and is being held without bail, awaiting extradition to face the charges in Maine, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said a combined investigation by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and crash reconstructionists provided evidence that led the Knox County District Attorney’s Office to draft warrants for Weddle’s arrest.

Five vehicles were involved in the crash. A woman who was in the accident reported that lumber was flying off the back of Weddle’s Freightliner tractor-trailer on a curve near Fitch Road, with the truck, lumber or both hitting oncoming vehicles and forcing others off the road into a field.

Paul Fowles, 74, of Owls Head, the driver of one of the vehicles, was declared dead at the scene. Also killed in the accident was Christina Torres-York, 45, of Warren.

Weddle, whose truck rolled over, was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was treated and released. His passenger, Lowell Babb, 32, of Virginia, was taken to PenBay Medical Center in Rockport, and treated and released.

 


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