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Driver Arrested After Lane County Grand Jury Indictment - March 2010 Fatal Crash on Highway 58
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Following an over two month investigation, Oregon State Police (OSP) arrested a Christmas Valley-area man after he was indicted by a Lane County Grand Jury. The indictment was related to an investigation into a March 2010 fatal traffic crash on Highway 58 west of Oakridge during which a commercial truck driver was killed in a collision with several large bales of hay that fell off a passing semi-trailer.
According to OSP Senior Trooper Blaine Hlebechuk, on May 24, 2010, BONNIE PUCKETT, age 43, was arrested by OSP troopers at his Christmas Valley residence on a warrant issued after he was indicted by a Lane County Grand Jury for Criminally Negligent Homicide and Felony Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver Involved in a Crash. PUCKETT was transported by troopers back to the Lane County Jail where he was lodged pending an appearance in Lane County Circuit Court.

On March 4, 2010 at approximately 5:25 a.m. a commercial truck driven by GREGORY RALPH MULLER, age 37, from Sparks, Nevada was eastbound on Highway 58 near milepost 27. While negotiating a sharp curve, MULLER was passing a truck pulling two trailers loaded with bales of hay coming westbound. Several bales of hay each weighing about 1,000 lbs. fell off the lead trailer and struck the truck driven by MULLER, demolishing the cab in which he was in and killing MULLER.

The truck pulling the trailer from which the hay came off did not stop and was last observed westbound. A witness stated the hay fell from the front of the load on the lead trailer. The vehicle and other driver, identified as PUCKETT, were located later that day.

MULLER was driving for Sherwin Williams Company transporting clothes and furniture. His vehicles came to rest in a ditch along the eastbound side of the highway.

Information and photographs from the original news release are available through the following link: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/NEWSRL/news/03_04_2010_fatal_hwy58_mp27.shtml