Reckless homicide charges were dropped against a truck driver involved in a crash that killed a young Myrtle Beach, FL, girl last November. Vincente Virola Rodriguez was driving a tractor-trailer that crashed into an SUV killing a 4-year-old in girl on March 31, 2012. The crash happened on U.S. 501.
According to the final report from the S.C. Highway Patrol’s Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team, the truck driver was using a cell phone and traveling too fast for conditions when his truck struck the rear of the vehicle the girl was in.
Rodriguez was charged with reckless homicide in the accident, according to a Sun News report.
Jimmy Richardson, 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor, said that during a hearing in March, a magistrate judge found there wasn’t probable cause to show Rodriguez was criminally negligent in the crash.
“I was disappointed for the mom and the family, but I certainly wasn’t surprised,” Richardson said of the judge’s decision. “We knew it was a long shot. I just felt like there should be a higher standard for a truck, an 18-wheeler.”
The crash occurred in a northbound lane of U.S. 501 when the tractor-trailer went through the intersection of U.S. 501 hitting the SUV Bennett was riding in. A minivan, also involved in the crash, and the SUV had slowed for traffic. The tractor-trailer was traveling at 50 miles per hour, which is five miles below the speed limit, according to the report. Drivers in the SUV and the minivan were going 40 mph.
Several people were hurt in the crash and were taken to local hospitals.