CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A 50-year-old North Carolina truck driver has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, misdemeanor death by vehicle, failure to reduce speed and felony failure to move over for stopped emergency vehicles after his involvement in a Dec. 22 crash that killed a Charlotte police officer.
Police said Daniel Leon Morgan was driving along Interstate 85 south in his 2020 Volvo VNL tractor-trailer when he failed to slow down and move to the left away from several police vehicles that were on another call.
Before striking the police units, authorities said that Morgan hit another 18-wheeler, and both rigs slammed into the police cruisers, including one belonging to officer Mia Goodwin, 33, a mother of three.
Goodwin died at the scene; three other officers were injured.
The incident happened at around 3:30 a.m., police reported.
Charlotte television station WCTI12 reported that their records check on Morgan showed that he does not hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).
And, according to the Charlotte Observer newspaper, court records show Morgan pleaded guilty in 2015 to driving without a CDL in Iredell County, North Carolina.
The newspaper reported that he paid a fine but was not given jail time.
From that same case, he was cited with a federal safety inspection violation. However, the charge was dismissed under a plea deal.
Morgan was then cited in 2008 and 2014 for speeding but in both cases had the charges reduced to improper equipment, court records show.
In a statement to the media, Morgan’s attorney, Harold Cogdell Jr., wrote: “I can’t begin to imagine the devasting (sic) impact that this tragic accident will have on her husband and three young children. There are no words that can express the extent of my sorrow.”
The driver of the other truck, a 2016 Freightliner, was transported to a hospital after his interview with detectives for an elevated heart rate, police said. It’s not known if that driver will face charges.
Morgan has been released on bond.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.