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Truck driver found guilty of vehicular manslaughter after deadly crash 

Philip Ken Trujillo.

Update posted May 26, 2017

–Philip Ken Trujillo, 57, the Las Vegas truck driver accused of a deadly crash near Paso Robles on Christmas Eve 2014, has been convicted of four counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Trujillo pulled his big rig truck in front of the oncoming car while attempting to enter the truck stop at Wellsona Road just north of Paso Robles.

The crash, which occurred on Highway 101 and Wellsona Road, claimed the lived of Crystal Lee Reuck, 22, Taylor M. Swarthout, 22, Karen Michelle Szasz, 45, and David Castillo, 42, all from San Miguel. All four were heading to a Christmas Eve dinner when the crash occurred.

Trujillo could serve up to 10 years for the crime. He will be sentenced June 22.



Original story posted Dec. 26, 2014

Four die in Highway 101 accident

accident on highwayFour friends from San Miguel were driving southbound on Highway 101 headed to a Christmas Eve dinner when they died in a collision with a big rig truck crossing the highway to the truck stop at Wellsona Road north of Paso Robles, the San Luis Obispo Tribune and California Highway Patrol reports.

The four who died were identified by the CHP as Crystal Lee Reuck, 22; Taylor M. Swarthout, 22; Karen Michelle Szasz, 45; and David Castillo, 42, the reports say. The four were in a 1992 Chrysler Town and Country van owned and driven by Reuck, the reports say.

The crash happened when Philip Ken Trujillo, 55, of Las Vegas was driving his semi-truck northbound on Highway 101 at about 6:15 p.m. The truck driver was turning left from the left turn lane onto westbound Wellsona Road as Reuck was driving southbound. When the truck crossed the southbound lanes of the highway, the van hit the trailer and was smashed completely under it, the reports say.

Three of the victims, Reuck, Swarthout, and Szasz were pronounced dead at the scene. Castillo was taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital, where he died, according to the reports. The driver of the truck, Trujillo, was uninjured.

Larry Reuck of San Miguel told the Tribune that his granddaughter, Crystal, and the others had just stopped by his home in San Miguel and were on their way to Paso Robles to have dinner with Castillo’s family.

Read more details at the San Luis Obispo Tribune

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