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Semi truck driver charged in deadly July crash near Columbia

ABC 17 News has confirmed the driver of a tractor trailer is now charged with involuntary manslaughter, after the semi-truck passed warning signs, hitting a line of cars that were backed up on I-70 east of Columbia, killing one woman.

Court records claim Anthony West of Georgia was distracted “due to not heeding warning from electronic message board, cautionary signs, and emergency response vehicle, of traffic congestion.” West was charged by a Boone County grand jury on September 25. He has already waived formal arraignment and pleaded not guilty.

Traffic was backed up for several miles due to an earlier crash the morning of July 1, stretching from the Lake of the Woods exit all the way past Route Z.

The victim, Margaret Haile, 79, from Auxvasse, was waiting in the line of cars. Signage warned about the delays ahead, and a trooper’s patrol car was also on scene with its lights flashing.

Haile’s pick-up truck and two other semis were involved in the wreck. Read about the earlier coverage here.

In 2013, there were 2,568 fatal crashes nationwide involving semi trucks.

Also in 2013, there were 283 fatal crashes involving pedestrians and large trucks.

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