Trucker in fatal crash pleads guilty to lying to investigators

| 10/27/2011

A trucker who crashed into a stream of stopped cars two years ago pleaded guilty in early October to lying to investigators.

Valerijs Belovs pleaded guilty Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court to 15 counts of giving false statements, including falsifying his logbooks. Belovs had previously pleaded guilty to a count of vehicular manslaughter.

In January 2009, a truck driven by Belovs plowed into stopped traffic on U.S. Highway 76 in Philadelphia. David Schreffler, 49, died. Five other motorists and passengers were injured in the wreck.

In 2009, Victor Kalinitchii, who owned the truck Belovs drove, pleaded guilty to buying illicit inspection stickers. Joseph Jadczak, owner of an auto supply store that provided inspection stickers, also pleaded guilty to issuing the stickers without inspecting vehicles.

Belovs, a Ukrainian immigrant, had informed his boss about the faulty brakes repeatedly, according to a 2009 article by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I push brake, but no stop,” Belovs said then.