YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — There are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the fatal I-64 crash as families of the three victims continue to hold funerals for their loved ones.
In the early morning of December 16th, a tractor-trailer and a bus collided on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 64 around mile marker 241. 21-year-old Jontae Russell, 25-year-old Xzavier Evans, and 19-year-old Montia Bouie died following the crash.
Virginia State Police revealed early on in the investigation that speed and alcohol were contributing factors.
The National Transportation Safety Board, who helped with the on-scene investigation alongside VSP, tells 10 On Your Side a preliminary report would be available in two to three weeks.
Montia Bouie’s family attorney, William Harding, told 10 On Your Side that court documents show the driver of the tractor-trailer could be at fault.
“The investigation is ongoing, but it appears, from what we know now. The tractor-trailer is primarily responsible for this tragedy,” Harding said.
As questions remain, Harding says court documents reveal the driver of the trailer was going too fast and lied on his driving log.
“The driver of the beer truck, the tractor-trailer, was driving at an excessive speed, but more importantly, it appears he falsified his log records,” he said.
According to the Department of Transportation, Interstate truck drivers must record a written or digital log that accounts for the miles driven in a 24-hour period. Federal regulations don’t allow truck drivers to exceed 11 driving hours in a 14-hour window without a 10-hour break.
“The law federally regulates how much a driver can drive because the concern is if you drive too long, you are fatigued. You don’t use the same judgment,” Harding said. “Driving a tractor-trailer is dangerous… and a hazard.”
Bouie’s family celebrated her life during her funeral service. Harding said she leaves behind two young children.
“This tragedy is compacted by the fact there are two young children her grandmother is taking care of,” he said. “The unexpected loss of their loved ones at such a young age. It is just tragic.”