Police: Dump truck driver was on drugs during crash that killed 3 in Fayette County
The driver of a tri-axle dump truck had drugs in his system when he slammed head-on into a pickup in Fayette County in June, killing three people who were members of the same family, according to District Attorney Rich Bower.
State police on Thursday arrested Wilbert James Burnsworth, 46, of Connellsville, on charges of third-degree homicide, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter and numerous other related offenses.
“The allegations indicate that, from a third-degree (homicide) standpoint, totally disregarding whatever could happen, especially driving a tri-axle,” Bower said at a news conference Thursday. “These are the things that all of us should be made very aware of. You don’t know what the other driver is involved in.”
Troopers have been investigating since the horrific scene on June 18 on Route 21 in German Township, just north of Masontown in the southern part of the county. Kayla Nicole Burwell, 21, of Smithfield was driving the pickup near the Double-T Bar when Burnsworth crossed the center line and the two vehicles collided, Bower said.
Burwell, Ronald Burwell, 53, of Uniontown and Hunter Braddy, 4, were killed. They were the aunt and grandfather of the boy, investigators said. Ronald Burwell and Hunter died at the scene. Kayla Burwell died at Uniontown Hospital.
Burnsworth had fentanyl and a cocaine derivative in his blood at the time of the crash, Bower said. Several witnesses told investigators they saw him weaving on the road prior to the crash. Burnsworth was working at the time for an area trucking company, he said.
Authorities recently received results from blood tests on Burnsworth after the crash.
He did not have an attorney listed in online court papers.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .