Canadian man charged with death at Austintown truck stop - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Canadian man charged with death at Austintown truck stop

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AUSTINTOWN TWP., Ohio -

The Canadian truck driver accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian at the Pilot Travel Center earlier this month, is now charged with Vehicular Homicide.

Austintown Detectives say a video in the truck driver's cab captured the deadly impact, and gave them a true picture of what really happened.  

21 News requested a copy of the video because it is a critical piece of evidence.  But in this case, the Mahoning County Prosecutor has decided not to release it.  It's this video that played out for police what really happened at the Pilot truck stop.    

It was back on May 2nd when the semi-truck driven by Guillaume Pelletier of Canada hit and killed fellow truck driver Armon Meco of Michigan in the PILOT parking lot.

Now Austintown Detectives say there is enough evidence to charge the Canadian driver with Vehicular Homicide, a misdemeanor, meaning he was "negligent" and could face up to six months in jail and a mandatory license suspension for one to five years.

Captain Bryan Kloss the Detective in Charge at the Austintown Police Department says, "At the time of the accident we had no witnesses to the accident that actually saw it take place, and we had no video showing what took place.  All we had was the driver's statement.  At the time it appeared like the pedestrian had walked out into the side of the truck.  Upon receiving the video from the trucking company it changed the perspective of the accident and we felt there was a need to proceed with charges on the driver."  

According to investigators when you look at the videotape the victim was walking in plain view for about ten seconds, and the driver drove the distance of 11 semi-truck parking spaces before the impact.

"After reviewing the video there's no doubt in my mind that he (the semi-driver) should have been able to stop," Captain Kloss said.

That's even though the victim was wearing headphones and walked across the parking lot never looking up to see traffic.

Testing shows the semi-driver was not impaired at the time, but investigators will subpoena his cell phone records to see if there's a chance he was distracted.  

On the day of the accident mechanics working in a building nearby rushed outside and had to flag down the driver.

"There was maintenance workers or mechanics working in the garage right next to where the accident happened.  They heard someone screaming and then looked out and saw the victim rolling through the trailer wheels.  They screamed at the driver to stop, which he immediately did, so it didn't appear like he even knew he hit anybody at the time,"  Captain Kloss said.

The detective on the case says the semi-driver's company and his attorney have been cooperative.

"The Prosecutor's Office is reaching out to that Attorney today to make arrangements to have the driver turn himself in," according to Captain Kloss.

But even if the semi-driver was distracted detectives say it won't change the charge he's already facing.

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