Feds ban trucker charged in I-526 death of medical student
A trucker charged with reckless homicide in the death of a Medical University student has been banned by federal regulators from operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Wednesday it has declared South Carolina-licensed truck driver Arnold Bradford Williams to be an imminent hazard to public safety.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said DOT Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Companies and drivers who willfully violate safety laws will not be allowed to operate.”
In late January, Williams was charged by North Charleston police with reckless homicide and possessing an open alcohol beverage container. His tractor-trailer crashed into four stopped vehicles, causing a fatality and three injuries, the DOT said.
In April, Williams was operating a commercial vehicle on Interstate 20 in Georgia when he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Lauren Baccari, 27, a student at the Medical University of South Carolina, was killed Jan. 28 while sitting in traffic on I-526. Williams, of Salters, came up behind her and crushed her inside her silver 2005 Acura.
North Charleston police originally charged Williams with felony DUI after a witness said he threw a pack of beer over a guardrail after the wreck. The charge was reduced because police said Williams passed field-sobriety and toxicology tests after the wreck.
The fatal accident happened on I-526 east near Rivers Avenue. Traffic was congested because of a fuel spill near Virginia Avenue that morning. Three cars and another truck also were caught in the wreck.
Baccari planned to practice family medicine. The college set up a fund in her honor to support students interested in pursuing a career in that field.
Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711