Seven-year sentence for trucker in multi-fatality Florida wreck

| 6/13/2008

A former driver for Crete Carrier Corp. was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday, June 12 – one year for each of the children who died when he rear-ended their car on a rural Florida highway two years ago.

The Florida Union-Times reported that Alvin Wilkerson accepted the sentence as part of a plea agreement that calls on him to testify if prosecutors decide to file other charges. A state prosecutor is quoted as saying trucking companies can face civil or criminal charges if they allow sleep-deprived drivers to operate their trucks.

Wilkerson, who tearfully apologized to the victims’ families during the trial, fell asleep at the wheel after driving nearly 34 hours straight, according to prosecutors.

His truck hit a car that was stopped behind a school bus, jamming the car under the back of the bus where it exploded in flames. Seven children from the same extended family died in the wreck.