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Amber Alert

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Motorcyclist Dies, Truck Driver Arrested

Texas truck driver Peter Mbugua was arrested Tuesday, for 2nd degree manslaughter for a fatal traffic accident that happened earlier this month in Boone County.

Mbugua, 60, was arrested in Wylie, Texas on a warrant obtained by investigators through Boone County Circuit Court, after a collision between his tractor trailer and a motorcycle claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

At approximately 1:35 p.m. March 4, police said, Mbugua was driving a tractor trailer owned by Safari Trucking of Texas, exiting southbound I-75 at Richwood, when he realized he couldn’t stop for the red light at the end of the ramp.

According to police, Mbugua steered the rig onto the left shoulder to avoid ramming the stopped traffic on the ramp and attempted to go straight through the intersection and onto the entrance ramp directly across the road.

Joseph Lonneman, 22, of Walton, Ky., was eastbound on Richwood Road/KY 338, riding his 2002 Honda motorcycle approaching the intersection.

Police said that Lonneman, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, laid the motorcycle down in an attempt to miss the truck but was hit in the intersection.

Lonneman was taken to University Hospital where he died at approximately 4 p.m.

The initial indications were that the accident was caused by faulty equipment on the truck and trailer.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department Accident Reconstruction Unit determined Mbugua was aware of the faulty brakes prior to the accident.

Second degree manslaughter is a Class C felony, punishable by 5-10 years in the state penitentiary.