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Last updated: July 18. 2013 4:34PM - 122 Views
MARY MUSIC
Staff Writer



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WARFIELD - Senate leaders butted heads with the overweight truck issue, House Bill 8, Monday, the same day that a Martin County man was killed in a collision with an overweight coal truck.
Lonnie C. Preece, 55, of Inez, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which closed a section of Route 40 in Warfield much of the day Monday, Kentucky State Police Det. Eddie Crum said.
Officials reported that Charles Wiley Jr., driving a 1999 Western Star tractor-trailer, encountered "stopped traffic" in the westbound lane of Route 40 Monday morning.
Wiley, who was later cited for being approximately 44 tons overweight, entered the eastbound lane to avoid the stalled traffic, and collided with Preece's vehicle, a 2005 GMC Sierra.
Wiley, 27, of Blacklog, was also cited by Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement for other violations, including inactive Kentucky weight distribution tax license, inactive Kentucky motor fuel users license and inactive extended weight decal.
Vehicle Enforcement Officer Jamie Collins, who performed the safety inspection after the accident Monday, said that Wiley failed to list his truck on his data base - an alleged attempt to avoid state taxes - and that he had a false extended weight decal on his truck.
He said Wiley's truck weighed 150,150 pounds, and was more than 88,000 pounds overweight.
According to Collins, Wiley would have still been overweight by more than 30,000 pounds had he purchased the extended weight decal, as required by law.
Route 40, a regularly used coal hauling route, limits coal trucks to only 62,000 pounds. According to Sara George, Kentucky Transportation Department spokeswoman, coal truckers can extend the weight limit to 120,000 pounds by purchasing the extended weight decal.
House Bill 8, which was passed in the House of Representatives last week, proposes to extend weight limits for trucks hauling gravel, sand and natural gas, to 60-ton limits. Legislation was stalled last week because of opponents' concerns for safety and road maintenance.
Drugs or alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the accident, Det. Crum said, but officials administered federally mandated drug tests on Wiley.
Results are pending.
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