Man indicted after allegedly causing fatal I-64 crash

Posted at 4:00 PM, Oct 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-09 16:04:15-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A man has been indicted on numerous charges, including murder, after allegedly causing a fatal I-64 crash.

Police arrested 45-year-old Jerry Elder Jr., of Flint, Michigan, who they said was driving a semi tractor-trailer when he crashed into two cars from behind. According to his arrest citation, Elder was distracted by watching a video on his cellphone at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. in the westbound lanes of I-64. Police said traffic was backed up for two miles because of construction.

According to police, Elder has been charged with the following:

  • 1 count of murder
  • 1 count of assault in the first degree
  • 1 count of assault in the second degree
  • 2 counts of wanton endangerment

Elder was previously charged with manslaughter in the second degree for the same incident.

Authorities said 61-year-old Jeffrey Curtis of Bedford, Kentucky, was pronounced dead at the scene.

State Police say the crash happened as a result of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is dangerous. Here are some statistics on how taking your eyes off the road can have deadly consequences.

Distracted Driving Statistics 2018 - Kentucky

  • 50,000 crashes
  • 15,000 injuries
  • Nearly 200 deaths

Construction zone crashes 2018 – Kentucky

  • 1,042 crashes
  • This is a 3% rise from the previous year
  • Rear-end collisions are the most common type of crash in work zone incidents

The best advice KYTC has for motorists is to drive without distractions and to slow down.