AVON, Ind. — A dump truck driver was handed down a 28-year sentence after being found guilty of causing an 11-vehicle pile-up that cost two people their lives in 2019.
Danny Williams of Knightstown pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a Level 4 felony, along with one count of causing catastrophic injury while operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Level 4 felony. As part of the plea agreement, his other charges were dismissed.
According to previous reports, Williams admitted to snorting heroin prior to the 11-vehicle crash that occurred at the intersection of U.S. 36 and County Road 625 East.
Avon police reported arriving on scene and finding a couple deceased in a minivan as a result of the pile-up. The couple was identified as Gerald and Rhonda Legan, both 80 years old.
Three other people were injured in the crash and sent to a hospital. One of the surviving victims suffered a spinal cord injury.
Previous reports reveal that witnesses noticed the dump truck driving erratically for several miles before the crash. Williams ended up rear-ending a Chevy Equinox as vehicles were stopped at a light. Williams’ dump truck then crossed over the median and into oncoming traffic where he collided with the Legan’s minivan.
“It didn’t seem like he was slowing down, like he was going to plow into somebody,” said one witness. “That’s when we started to see the dump truck continually hitting other cars.”
Police reported Williams appearing drowsy and laughing while officers performed a horizontal gaze test on him, which he failed. Officers noted a white powdery substance on Williams’ nasal cavity.
“When he was looking around, he just looked like he was on a different planet,” said the witness.
Williams reportedly didn’t even recall being involved in an accident, according to court documents.
Williams was sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison between his three guilty pleas. Six years of his sentence will be suspended to home detention. His driver’s license was also suspended for 36 years.