Man charged in tow truck driver’s death admitted using meth, ‘nodding off’ before crash: reports

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man charged in a crash that killed a tow truck driver admitted to “nodding off” behind the wheel and said he was tired because he used methamphetamine the night before, Superior Court documents say.

Grant August Miller, 48, of Clovis has been in custody since the Oct. 15 crash and has pleaded not guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving without a license. He’s accused of hitting a tow truck driver assisting a stranded motorist on northbound Highway 99, south of Woollomes Avenue.

California Highway Patrol officers dispatched at 10:35 p.m. to the crash contacted Miller, who said he was the driver of a Mazda CX-5 with major right-side damage blocking the northbound lanes, according to the court filings. Miller told officers he was driving from Tehachapi to Fresno because of work when he dozed.

The steering wheel and car jerked, and Miller woke up then felt the car hit something, according to his statement in the documents. The car skidded to a stop, and he got out and saw the right side had sustained serious damage. Miller also saw blood on the vehicle, and soon afterward a body on the ground, the documents say.

“Through his statement I came to the conclusion Miller allowed the Mazda CX-5 to veer to the right, eventually colliding with the tow truck and its driver, who was walking around the left rear of the tow truck,” an officer wrote in the documents.

When asked questions regarding whether he was driving while impaired, Miller said he smoked meth the night before, and he felt tired because of the drug’s effects, the filings say. The officer noted Miller had red, watery eyes and “extremely constricted” pupils. Miller was taken to a hospital and had blood drawn for testing before being booked into jail.

His next court hearing is scheduled Jan. 25.

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