TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

March 25, 2014

Man sentenced for fatal crash

Receives 10 years in Laurel Correctional Center for second-degree manslaughter

CORBIN — By LeeAnn Cain / Staff Writer

A Tennessee man charged with manslaughter for a 2012 crash that killed a man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in the Laurel County Correctional Center.

Austin Meredith, 26, of Sevierville, Tenn., was sentenced in Laurel County Circuit Court by Judge Gregory Lay to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. That sentence is to run concurrent with a 48-hour jail sentence for driving under the influence.

Before he was sentenced, Meredith spoke to the victim’s family and apologized for his actions.

“I’ve tried to put myself in your shoes but I can’t. Nothing like this has ever happened to me,” he said. “I have a 6-year-old daughter and I tried to think about something like that happening to her. Your family is and will remain in my prayers.”

This sentence follows the Commonwealth’s suggestion for a plea agreement made earlier this month. The plea agreement amended the murder charge to second-degree manslaughter. Charges of first-degree wanton endangerment along with several vehicle violations were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.

Meredith struck and killed Howard M. “Red” White, 49, of Bagdad, Ky., in July 2012 as White was operating a rollback wrecker during the early morning hours of July 7, 2012.

White was on I-75 in Laurel County, north of Exit 29 in North Corbin, when he stopped in the emergency lane at the 30-mile marker to see if his load was secure.

While White was outside, a box truck driven by Meredith struck White and the parked wrecker. White was killed instantly.

Kentucky State Police-Vehicle Enforcement officers discovered White dead at the scene after they responded to the crash.

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