Disabled Truck Driver Acquitted in Accident

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

18-year old Damon Thompson's 1993 Nissan was hit in the driver's side door.

Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene.

But there's something different about this case says Logan County Commonwealth Attorney, Charles Orange.

Carl Wernsing was a one-legged driver after having been amputated for some seven years at the time. He was driving a truck in violation of his S.P.E. Certificate from the Department of Transportation.

However, Wernsing's attorney, Stewart Wheeler contends differently.

"He was licensed to operate a standard transmission vehicle with one leg. He did not require a prosthetic device."

According to Orange, Wernsing was not wearing any type of prosthetic device when the crash occured.

Wernsing was charged with wreckless homicide and second degree manslaughter saying that Wernsing's disability would make it hard for him to reach the gas, brake or clutch in a timely manner.

"When you fill out that application you have to perform under the scrutiny of someone who is either going to approve or deny the application. He did that."

Despite the Commonwealth's assertion, the charges against Wernsing were dropped.

"A reconstruction expert testified that it was driver inattention combined with running the red light that killed Damon Thompson."

Wernsing's attorney says that although his client was acquitted, he will still feel the pain for what happened.

"A thousand times he wished it could have been himself because he has to live with it everyday."


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