Trial starts for truck driver charged in deadly Knoxville crash

Trial starts for truck driver charged in deadly Knoxville crash

Posted:
Darold Reimer took the stand in his own defense Monday. He's charged in a deadly 2012 wreck that killed a Lenoir City teaching assistant. Darold Reimer took the stand in his own defense Monday. He's charged in a deadly 2012 wreck that killed a Lenoir City teaching assistant.
"I just want justice to be really be served for her because she'll never be back, "said Carolyn Russell, the victim's mother. "I just want justice to be really be served for her because she'll never be back, "said Carolyn Russell, the victim's mother.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A truck driver facing homicide charges is now on trial for his role in a deadly interstate crash last year. Darold Reimer is charged with reckless homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Police say he was driving one of two semis that collided in May 2012 near the Campbell Station exit on I-40. Reimer's truck landed on a car killing Kim Townson, 42. Townson was a Lenoir City High School special education teaching assistant. She had worked there for nine years.

The defense says Reimer's tire popped causing him to swerve out of control. The state says Reimer was driving recklessly causing an accident then the tire blew.

The jury was selected quickly, and Reimer took the stand in his own defense.

"When I straightened back up, or made an abrupt move to the right at that time, I believe the tire blew out on my truck, which sent me careening to the right, and struck the back end of the truck hauling the military vehicle," said Reimer.

Witnesses who saw the crash and Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators took the stand for the state.

As proof was presented to the jury, the Townson family sat in the courtroom watching the proceedings.

Carolyn Russell, Kim Townson's mother, says Kim was a mother of two. She says Kim was heading to watch her daughter's ball game on the day of the accident.

"I said 'Okay be careful, Kim. I love you.' And she said 'I love you.' And those were the last words that were spoke," said Carolyn Russell. "I just want justice to be really be served for her because she'll never be back."

Jeff Russell is Kim's brother. He hopes after the deadly crash all drivers now pay more attention behind wheel.

"Take your time and slow down. Everyone is in a hurry for one reason or another," said Jeff Russell.

Carolyn Russell says her daughter is missed by many. Not only was she a mother she was a special education teaching assistant who impacted the lives of many people.

"We miss her and there's a hole in my heart that will never heal time won't take this away," said Russell.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday. Reimer is charged with a class C felony. If found guilty, he could be fined up to $10,000 and face a prison sentence of 3 to 15 years.

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