Driver of Explosives Truck Charged

Driver of Explosives Truck Charged

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The Idaho driver of a semitrailer truck that rolled over on U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, setting off 18 tons of explosives, has been charged with misdemeanor counts of causing a catastrophe, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

Travis Stewart, 30, of Rexburg, Idaho, was charged Tuesday in 4th District Court. He will be served with a summons.

Stewart and a co-driver, working for R&R Trucking, were on their way from Ensign-Bickford Co. in Spanish Fork to Oklahoma on Aug. 10 when the truck tipped on its right side and was torn open.

Three minutes later, the explosives blew, gouging a large crater in the road and sending at least 20 people to the hospital with shrapnel wounds and ear injuries.

The blast also destroyed the truck, set wildfires and damaged Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Sheldon Riches said Stewart allegedly was speeding and driving recklessly.

Utah Department of Transportation officials estimate repairs to the road cost between $200,000 and $400,000.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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