TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By LeeAnn Cain
A Tennessee man charged with murder pleaded guilty Thursday to charges related to a 2012 crash that killed a man, according to a Laurel County Circuit Court document.
Austin Meredith, 26, of Sevierville, Tenn., pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to second-degree manslaughter and and driving under the influence–first offense. The agreement calls for a 10-year sentence.
The plea agreement amends 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 is set to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Monday, March 24.
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. They also found two passengers inside the wrecker at the time of the collision who were not injured.