Drunk Trucker Sentenced In Crash That Killed Toddler and Two Adults
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania – A Mississippi truck driver who was drunk at the time the tractor-trailer he was operating along I-83 last October plowed into traffic killing 3 people including a 16-month old girl, was sentenced Tuesday morning.
Dauphin County Judge Deborah E. Curcillo sentenced Jack E. Satterfield III to 28 ½ to 63 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in June to three counts of homicide by vehicle, three counts of leaving the scene of a fatal crash, and related offenses.
The maximum possible sentence was 40 ½ to 80 years.
According to numerous published reports by those present in the courtroom during the sentencing hearing, victims’ family members blasted the truck driver calling him a “monster” and a “gutless coward.”
PennLive.com reported crash survivor Brandon Updyke wrote in a letter to Satterfield, “I want you to suffer. I want you to cry.”
Satterfield sat in his chair and sobbed according to reporters inside the courtroom.
Killed in the crash was 24-year-old Zachary Lybrand from Middletown, and his 16-month old daughter Eliana, along with 22-year-old Ethan VanBochoven from Pompton Plains, New Jersey.
Additionally, seven other motorists were injured.
The most intense moments in the hearing came when Jessica Lybrand, wife of Zachary and mother to Eliana, demanded Satterfield look her in the eyes, though he refused, according to PennLive.
“I want you to know about the people you murdered,” Lybrand was quoted as saying.
Lybrand described her pain as an “unexplainable heart-breaking feeling.”
“You are scum…You don’t deserve to be breathing,” she said according to the report.
Satterfield barely spoke when given an opportunity to do so.
According to numerous reports, Chief Deputy Public Defender Paul Muller read a letter Satterfield wrote to the judge.
“I’m far from a monster the DA and the news media have made me out to be,” Satterfield wrote. “This guilt is overwhelming. I am sorry from the bottom of my soul.”
When Judge Curcillo asked Satterfield directly if he had anything else to add he reportedly said, “I can’t stress how sorry I am.”
The crash occurred on October 12, 2018 at approximately 8:30 p.m. in a construction zone along I-83.
Investigators said Satterfield was traveling northbound in the left lane when he failed to stop for slowed traffic and struck vehicles in the left and center lanes while in the construction zone.
After the accident, Satterfield fled the scene.
He crossed the interstate, hopped a fence, and ran to a hotel parking lot where he watched the crash scene from a distance, the criminal complaint stated.
Investigators said the truck had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage.
Authorities later apprehended Satterfield and said he admitted he was operating the commercial vehicle after having consumed five double-shot margaritas and two or three beers at a New Jersey restaurant earlier that evening.
Satterfield was taken to a local hospital for a voluntary blood draw to determine his blood alcohol content (BAC) along with other substances.
His BAC was measured at .152%. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08%.
Disturbing dash cam video of the crash was released in June and you can view it HERE. (Viewer Discretion Advised)
Even more disturbing details surfaced shortly after the crash.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported Satterfield was found to have been driving on a suspended CDL stemming from an arrest on a misdemeanor drug charge in February 2018 which he ultimately pleaded guilty to.
Lybrand filed a lawsuit against Satterfield and his employer at the time of the crash, Green Tree Logistics, late last year.
The suit alleges Green Tree Logistics should have known Satterfield was not fit to operate a commercial vehicle and had a suspended license.
Lybrand’s attorney, Mark Tanner, said Satterfield should have never been behind-the-wheel and intends to hold Satterfield and Greentree Logistics responsible.
“The people that placed him behind the wheel of an 80-ton tractor-trailer should have cared enough to investigate his background,” Tanner said at the time of the filing.
Click HERE to learn more about Lybrand’s suit.