Trucker accused of plowing into vehicle after vehicle, killing man, had 55-plus prior arrests
Authorities say the 57-year-old man who was behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer that crashed into about dozen vehicles in Elizabeth, killing one person Saturday, had 55 prior arrests in California for crimes involving drugs, alcohol and domestic violence.
According to NJ Advance Media, police say Daniel Burnam Williams has used at least 10 different aliases and eight Social Security Numbers. Williams, who appeared in court Wednesday, has also had three arrests for providing false identification, the article states. He's been a truck driver for three years, with a last given address of Brighton, Colo., and authorities say he has an arrest record in that state as well, NJ Advance Media reported.
According to police, Williams was driving a Freightliner cab in the area of First Street and Elizabeth Avenue around midnight when he hit the first of several vehicles. The driver of the other vehicle tried to get him to stop, but Williams then drove off erratically down Elizabeth Avenue, authorities said.
When Williams approached the North Broad Street intersection, he was spotted by an off-duty Union County police officer who fired a single round from his service weapon in an attempt to stop him, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said.
Williams then continued down North Broad Street, hitting several vehicles before crashing through an Elizabeth police barricade at Parker Road, police say. Two Elizabeth officers then fired their service weapons at WIlliams, striking him, but he continued driving, authorities say.
WIlliams eventually collided head-on with a car driven by 24-year-old Jeffrey Oakley of Elizabeth, killing him and injuring two other occupants in the vehicle, authorities said.
Williams' public defender requested that his bail be reduced from $2 million to $500,000 since he's injured and doesn't likely present a flight risk, but the judge denied the request, NJ Advance Media reported.
The story states that the public defender entered a not guilty plea on Williams' behalf for charges including first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree vehicular homicide and second-degree reckless aggravated assault.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.