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Truck driver indicted in crash last year that killed two highway workers

Mervin Crigler was indicted on several charges, including vehicular homicide and DUI.
Credit: Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Mervin Crigler

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 62-year-old truck driver has been indicted on multiple criminal charges stemming from a crash last November that killed two highway workers and injured two others, including a state trooper, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.

Mervin Crigler was indicted on charges of vehicular homicide involving recklessness and intoxication, vehicular assault involving intoxication and recklessness, aggravated assault, drunken driving and driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

He was taken into custody Friday in his hometown of St. Louis by members of the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. He was indicted in May by a Shelby County Grand Jury, but the indictments do not become public until a defendant is booked and processed.

Bond has been set at $300,000.

The crash occurred around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2019, in a construction zone in the westbound lane of Interstate 40 near Arlington.

Investigators said Crigler’s tractor trailer struck a stationary “impact truck,” forcing it into a Tennessee Highway Patrol vehicle, which crashed into a maintenance vehicle and killed workers Jared Helton, 22, and Justin Stafford, 30, who were replacing reflectors on the interstate.

Helton and Stafford, both from Kentucky, were employed by a Cincinnati company that had contracted with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. A third worker, Cody Fultz, 22, was injured.

Trooper Lejulian Roy, 35, was critically injured, as was Crigler, the truck’s driver.

The crash was investigated by the THP Critical Incident Response Team.

The case is being handled by Chief Prosecutor Glen Baity and Asst. Dist. Atty. Vanessa Murtaugh of the District Attorney’s DUI Prosecution Unit.

Members of the DUI Unit work with local law enforcement to reduce the number of DUI-related fatalities and injuries, and conduct training sessions to update officers on new laws and changes to existing laws.

RELATED: Man charged after 2 TDOT contractors killed in crash on I-40, another contractor and THP trooper injured

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