Trucker Gets more than 11 Years in NC I-40 Wreck

By Associated Press | 

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) -- A tractor-trailer driver whose rig slammed into cars creeping along in heavy Interstate 40 traffic in North Carolina, killing three drivers, has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

A judge sentenced 52-year-old Ronald Eugene Graybeal on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says the four vehicles damaged in the June 2011 accident had stopped, then began moving at about 5 mph when the 18-wheeler hit a pickup truck. One car caught fire in the deadly chain reaction.

Troopers say Graybeal was driving 65 miles per hour. Investigators said the Newport, Tenn., man was under the influence of drugs at the time of the wreck.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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