A Berks County man faces charges of homicide by vehicle for an accident police say occurred when he fell asleep and struck a car alongside Route 283 in September 2018, killing a woman and injuring her adult son.
Luckner Alexis, 58, of Reading, was charged Wednesday with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and other related charges regarding the Sept. 28 crash, according to documents filed by East Hempfield Township police.
Alexis, driving a tractor-trailer, allegedly struck a car with Inez Nolan and her son, Thomas Nolan Jr., inside. Inez Nolan was taken to a Philadelphia hospital and died six days after the crash. An obituary published by a Monroe County funeral home says she was 56 years old and lived in Hershey.
Police said in charging documents that the crash occurred after Alexis nodded off while driving a tractor-trailer around 8 p.m. on Route 283 between the Salunga and State Road/Route 722 exits.
The Nolans were in a car parked legally on the right shoulder waiting for a tow truck, police said. Inez Nolan had driven to the scene to assist her son, whose car had a mechanical issue. Both cars were on the right shoulder with their four-way flashers on, police said.
Alexis fell asleep with his foot on the accelerator, police said. Dash cam video and data from the truck’s engine showed Alexis made no attempts to slow down or move into the left lane.
Alexis drifted to the right over the fog line, side-swiped Thomas Nolan Jr.’s car and then struck Inez Nolan’s car, where both were inside, according to an arrest affidavit.
Thomas Nolan Jr. was seriously injured. He suffered head trauma, broken bones and spinal fractures, according to police.
Police determined that Alexis’ vehicle did not have any mechanical issues and that he did not have a medical issue.
"After repeatedly working long, overnight hours while maintaining his personal life over a course of several weeks, Alexis was naturally tired. Despite this, he ignored typical signs of fatigue and consumed caffeinated beverages in an effort to remain alert to continue driving," said Officer Josh Sandman in the arrest affidavit.
Alexis faces charges of homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, two counts of recklessly endangering another person and three traffic citations, according to court documents.