Local News

Bond reduced for trucker in fatal I-40 wreck

Posted July 21, 2011

— A judge on Thursday reduced the bond for a truck driver charged in the deaths of three people in a fiery wreck on Interstate 40 last month.

Ronald Eugene Graybeal has been held in the Orange County jail under a $1 million bond, which District  Judge Beverly Scarlett set last week, calling him "a danger to the public safety."

Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan lowered the bond to $800,000 in a Thursday morning hearing.

Graybeal, 50, of Newport, Tenn., is charged with three counts of felony death by vehicle, failure to reduce speed, driving while impaired and possession of marijuana, methadone and drug paraphernalia.

Troopers said Graybeal was westbound on I-40 near U.S. Highway 15/501 on June 30 when he crashed into four vehicles, killing three of the drivers.

Highway Patrol investigators said Graybeal was under the influence of drugs at the time of the wreck and that he was traveling at 65 mph when he came upon a line of traffic that had just starting moving.


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  • abylelab -BT- Jul 22, 2011

    i really wish they would give the blood toxicology results, and release diagrams of the reconstruction.

  • abylelab -BT- Jul 22, 2011

    no need to shoot at liberty, everyone knows the law, driving under influence id against the law PERIOD!

    yep, that's why he's charged with dui. makes sense to me. what doesn't make sense to me is the leap of faith it takes to AUTOMATICALLY assume he is guilty of other things because of it.

    post some real scientific articles, and i'll read them.

    it is very important for the investigation to determine what happened accurately and to charge him with the proper infractions, otherwise he may not be held accountable. there are now TWO eye-witnesses stepping forward to counter the "official" report.

    don't give me any junk about how good the reconstruction team is, either. there are still details about crashes that they need to assume or get from a witness to accurately reconstruct accidents this complicated.

    additionally, for all i know, the witnesses were a bit mistaken, and the team got it mostly wrong, and the cars were moving close to 30 and the truck was going 90!

  • abylelab -BT- Jul 22, 2011

    If you don't agree with a law, responsible adults work to get it changed, they don't simply disregard them.
    RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman

    In case you didn't notice, people have been working to change them, and either the government finds a way to take more liberties, or they just disregard the attempts regardless of what good it could do.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 21, 2011

    Looking at the picture of after the wreck, and what the eye witness saw in his rearview mirror I feel that the red truck did make a lane change as the traffic started to move. But to say he cut off the Big rig, I don't agree that cause the accident, it just got the guy in the red truck involved in what would been an accident to the other vehicle that were starting to move. It make a little bit more sense to me, since they started moving there would of not been any brake lights to warn the trucker that the traffic was almost still.

  • warbirdlover Jul 21, 2011

    I think there are a bunch of self rit hipocrites on these boards. How many of you have ever driven ofter taking Prescription medicine. If you have you have broken the law. You will test positive for Drugs. There are certain foods, medicines that will make you test positive. Untill we know the exact ammonts found in his system, we don't know nothing.
    Here are some of the most common sources of a false positive drug test:

    •Pain relievers such as Advil, Uprin, Motrin.
    •Menstrual cramp medications like Midol and Trendar.
    •Ibuprofen is known to cause positive for Marijuana.
    •Anti inflammatories such as Naproxyn.
    •Dristan Nasal Spray, Neosynephren, Vicks Nasal Spray, Sudafed.
    •Over the counter appetite suppressants which contain propanolamine. •Common nasal decongestants can cause a positive reading for Amphetamines. •Vicks Formula 44M containing Dextromethorphan and Primatene-M containing perylamine. •Demerol, and prescription anti-depressant Elavil test positive fo

  • dsalter Jul 21, 2011

    Drugs in the truck is what will convict this driver, but accident investigation is dealing with assumption, skid marks, distance, amount of damage and eyewitnesses. And Sgt. Pyle is an eyewitness.

  • PanthersFan45 Jul 21, 2011

    I'm wondering the same thing a few have kind of touched on already. That's Mr. Pyle's account of how the accident unfolded as he saw it in his rear view mirror. Yes, some felt he didn't get an accurate account of what he may have seen, but I see it as being very plausible that he saw a picku-up truck make a lane change just before the wreck. Look, people always point out that a split second decision can be altered by drugs ..... well how about a sober person being able to notice something in the the same split second it unfolds ? I see this as very possible (as originally reported). Maybe there's an outside chance that Pyle's account IS being factored in by lowering the charges against Graybeal, just maybe.

  • methinks Jul 21, 2011

    Have they released his drug screening? Most drugs are in your system for at least 30 days. He may have been on vacation up to three weeks before this happened, partaken of some recreational drugs while on said vacation, then went back to work. Just because he tested positive doesn't mean he took drugs right before or while he was driving?? Ask any one that deals with drugs and drug testing and they will tell you the same thing.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 21, 2011

    I might be reach here, but since other have to, here it goes, do ya think maybe that the guy in the red truck saw what the truck driver was about to do and scarfied his self trying to deflect the truck from ramming into the other stopped cars? It's possilble the guy in the red truck was a hero.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 21, 2011

    For those who keep saying he is not totally at fault, let take the red truck out of the equation. He still would of not stopped in time to keep from hitting the other stopped vehicles. Just the guy in the truck would not gotten killed maybe. The team that did the accident reconstruction is a lot more informed and more experience than any one posting here, most certainly myself encluded.