Teen Involved in Colorado Fatal Big Truck Accident Not Licensed To Drive Vehicle Type

Posted on Oct 26 , 2012
I read about a very tragic fatal accident this week that I wanted to share with you. A Louisiana teenager was on his way to compete in the National High School Finals Rodeo in Wyoming when he struck and killed two women changing a tire on the side of the road in Colorado.  There is controversy surrounding this accident and whether or not the teen driver was properly licensed to be driving the tractor trailer involved. Tristan Martin, age 16,  of Sulphur, Louisiana, was driving the 2003 Volvo truck with an attached tractor trailer, hauling horses when it ran onto the shoulder and hit two women on the side of the road at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Interstate 70 near Limon, Colorado. Sadly, the victims of this accident were Shun Jones, 48, of Carrollton, Texas and her niece, Amanda Omo-Iyamu, 38, of Balch Springs, Texas. They were visiting family and friends. In Colorado, if the vehicle isn't used for commercial purposes, someone 16, who has a personal driver's license, can drive the truck. Someone with a standard driver's license from another state can drive a truck similar to the Volvo in Colorado as long as it isn't used commercially, even if that would be illegal in their home state.  A 16 year old can get a driver's license in both Louisiana and Colorado. Colorado state patrol investigators are trying to determine if the vehicle was ever used in a commercial endeavor, which could include hauling livestock for sale or other agricultural purposes. Louisiana drivers can qualify for a personal driver's license at 16 if they attend driver's education classes and pass a test, Sulphur, Louisiana, a police spokeswoman said. And driving a single-axle truck pulling a large, horse trailer doesn't require a commercial driver's license. Unfortunately, the teen fled the fatal big truck accident scene with a private party before troopers arrived, and has been charged with two felony counts of failing to remain at the scene after an accident involving death and two misdemeanor counts of careless driving causing death. Michel Martin, who first told troopers he was driving, was charged with a misdemeanor count of false reporting. Both have been released on bail, $500 for the father and $100,000 for the son, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. I will continue to follow this tragic story and update my blog as details are released. What are your thoughts about his story?  Our condolences go out to all families involved and deepest sympathies to those who lost their loved ones in this tragic accident.

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