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Vehicular Assault Charges Lead to Prison Time for Tennessee Man

A Tennessee truck driver will now face serious penalties after his involvement in a crash in another state. The accident happened in November 2013 on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania.

According to authorities, two cars were parked on the side of the interstate, and two men were trying to fix one of the vehicles. The truck driver's tractor-trailer reportedly hit both cars, and one of the men outside on the road spent months in a coma and is now partially paralyzed. The other man on the road is reportedly unable to work because of his injuries.

The truck driver was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle while intoxicated. The man had allegedly consumed peppermint schnapps before the accident. On April 30, he pleaded no contest to both charges, though he later tried twice to withdraw his plea. Both times the judge denied his request. The man was recently sentenced to 7 to 20 years in state prison.

On top of his prison sentence, the truck driver must pay restitution. Currently, that amount is more than $314,600 but is expected to increase. The assistant district attorney said that almost $500,000 more will be added to that amount to cover bills that Medicaid didn't cover. Future bills for the two injured men will also be added to that restitution total.

The man's case serves as a reminder of the life-altering penalties individuals can face if they are convicted of vehicular assault. While the man was charged in another state, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide are also aggressively prosecuted in Tennessee, and accused individuals will need an equally aggressive defense. 

Source: Public Opinion, "Tennessee trucker gets up to 20 years for injuring 2 in DUI crash," Becky Metrick, May 28, 2014