Truck driver sentenced in fatal accident in West Virginia

PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) – An Illinois truck driver has been sentenced to more than four years in jail in an interstate crash that killed a family of four from North Carolina in southern West Virginia.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports family members of those killed gave emotional pleas for justice before Magistrate Sandra Dorsey sentenced 41-year-old Bertram Copeland of Rockford, Illinois, Thursday after he was convicted last week on charges of negligent homicide and reckless driving.

Officials said the southbound tractor-trailer crossed the median and struck the Gilleys’ vehicle along Interstate 77 in April 2017. Killed were David and Christine Gilley of Salisbury, North Carolina, and their two children, Jack and Grace.

Copeland blamed a mechanical failure, but the judge said she did not see evidence of “an unforeseeable mechanical error” in the crash.

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