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Trucker Set Down Coffee Mug, Allegedly Caused Fatal Crash

Driver charged after 3 were killed in Indiana
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2020 2:00 PM CST
Cops: Trucker Distracted by Coffee Caused Fatal Crash
Mathew Lewis Small.   (Boone County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – Police in Indiana say a fatal crash on an interstate happened after a trucker took his eyes off the road to set down his coffee mug, reports Fox News. The crash occurred Sunday morning on I-65 when a semi plowed into eight vehicles that had slowed down ahead, says the Boone County Sheriff's Office. One vehicle ended up pinned against a guardrail and caught on fire; its three occupants were declared dead at the scene. They were identified as Mariah Tomey, 21; Kaylee Kirk, 19; and Hadley Tomey, just a year old. Fourteen people were injured.

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The truck's driver, 34-year-old Mathew Lewis Small, has been charged with three felony charges of reckless homicide, reports the Indianapolis Star. He told authorities that he'd been heading northbound when he looked to set down his mug and then crashed into the slowing vehicles. The sheriff's office says distracted driving is a major cause of accidents, and "in this case, we believe it was a contributing factor." (Another crash killed five on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.)

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