Jerry Elder Jr.

Jerry Elder Jr.

A Michigan truck driver has been indicted on murder and other charges stemming from a fatal collision on Interstate 64 near the west Frankfort exit late last month Kentucky State Police say was caused by distracted driving.

Jerry Elder Jr., 45, of Flint, was indicted by a Franklin County Circuit Court grand jury on one count each of murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault and two counts of felony wanton endangerment.

Kentucky State Police said that shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 28, Elder struck the rear of a Jeep Liberty driven by 61-year-old Jeffrey Curtis, of Bedford. Both vehicles then hit a Ford Explorer driven by Trina Summers, 61, of Shepherdsville.

Curtis was pronounced dead at the scene by Franklin County Coroner Will Harrod, while Elder and Summers were taken to Frankfort Regional Medical Center and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Elder was originally charged with manslaughter, but the grand jury returned indictments on more serious charges.

Elder allegedly was driving through a construction zone and failed to slow down because he was watching a video on his cellphone, which was mounted on his dashboard at the time of the crash.

Elder was being held at the Franklin County Regional Jail on $50,000 bond from the manslaughter charge, but that is likely to increase following the additional charges in the indictment.

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