AVON, Ind. – The dump truck driver arrested in Tuesday’s deadly Avon crash “admitted to snorting heroin earlier in the day,” court documents say.
Danny Williams, 62, is facing two counts of reckless homicide after allegedly causing an 11-vehicle crash that killed two people at the intersection of U.S. Highway 36 and County Road 625 East.
Police responded to the scene at about 3:24 p.m. When officers arrived, they found a couple deceased in a minivan. They've been identified as Gerald and Rhonda Legan, both 80 years old. Three others were transported to area hospitals, including a woman who suffered spinal cord injuries and multiple fractures to her femur, pelvis and spine.
Witnesses at the scene told police they observed Williams’ dump truck driving erratically for several miles before the crash. Witnesses said the truck rear-ended a black Chevy Equinox as vehicles were stopped at a light and then crossed a center median into oncoming traffic, colliding with the Legans’ van.
Justin Bradley and his girlfriend had just switched lanes before Williams came through.
“It didn't seem like he was slowing down, like he was going to plow into somebody,” Bradley said, “That's when we started to see the dump truck continually hitting other cars."
When officers came in contact with Williams, he appeared to be drowsy and laughing while police performed a horizontal gaze nystagmus test on him, which he failed, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday.
“When he was looking around, he just looked like he was on a different planet," Bradley said of Williams on scene.
Bradley said he and another driver ran to the Legans' van to check their pulse. When they realized the pair was gone, they covered the front of the car with a tarp out of respect.
“It's hard to see elderly people, and not think about that," Bradley said.
Later, the affidavit says Williams admitted to snorting heroin and officers observed a white powdery substance in Williams’ nasal cavity. A police K-9 also indicated the presence of narcotics inside his dump truck. Williams was then transported to the Hendricks County Jail on reckless homicide charges.
Williams is also facing a charge of leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Police say Williams’ truck matched the description of a truck involved in a previously reported hit-and-run crash that occurred at the intersection of East US Highway 36 and Dan Jones Rd. in Avon at about 12:39 p.m. In that crash, the owner of a Volkswagen Tiguan was rear-ended by a dump truck that left the scene.
Williams told officers he didn’t remember being involved in an accident.