A three-judge panel has upheld the 18-year prison sentence of Louisiana 18 Wheeler driver Mark Gordon who crossed the center line of a highway and slammed his big rig logging truck into a pick-up, killing a father and his two teenage children in October of 2015. A fourth passenger was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.
The trucker had appealed the sentence in his 2016 trial, claiming it was excessive. Hanna Pub, a website of the Concordia Parish Sentinel, reports that the judges upheld the tough sentence, despite his tearful appeal for mercy. The website reports:
After a review of the case, the Third Circuit panel of judges ruled in a 13-page opinion released last week — March 28 — that “the sentence of the defendant, Mark I. Gordon, of eighteen years at hard labor, three years of which is to be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, on each of three counts of vehicular homicide, to be served consecutively, is affirmed.”
“He couldn’t talk to me straight”
Investigating State Trooper Brennon Russell found Gordon to be uncomprehending of what had happened. Gordon admitted to Trooper Russell that he had used methamphetamine the day before. Reported the Trooper, “he didn’t know what was going on. He said he thought he just ran off the road. He was sweating and he couldn’t concentrate on talking to me. He was talking about several other things and he was running around . . . he couldn’t sit still. He couldn’t talk to me straight . . . he didn’t even realize what had happened is what I should say.”
Several witnesses said that Gordon had been weaving on the road prior to the accident, even forcing cars from the opposing lane to run off onto the shoulder to avoid a collision.
Gordon was taken to the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office where a urinalysis revealed the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine in his system. He was later charged with three counts of vehicular homicide.
Why was a meth user driving an 18 wheeler?
Methamphetamine is one of the most addicting drugs on the planet. It utterly destroys the lives of its users and others around them. Was this trucker using meth as a stimulant to keep him awake during long hours of driving? Did his transportation company drug test its drivers? Did management suspect he might be using? The signs of meth use are scary and clear, as this video by a retired police officer shows.
Houston’s big rig accident attorneys
It is unconscionable for a meth user to be driving an 80,000-pound vehicle on public roadways. Justice in the form of criminal and civil penalties must be carried out for the sake of the family grievously shattered by such a tragedy.
If you have been seriously injured or tragically lost a family member in a Texas roadway accident involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, call or email our 18-wheeler accident lawyers now.