Man who reached for lip balm and crashed, killing two, pleads no contest to misdemeanor manslaughter charges

Crime Watch

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KGET) — A man who told investigators he took his eyes off the road as he looked for lip balm when his pickup collided with a car, killing the other vehicle’s occupants, has pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter.

Robert Truskett was sentenced to 400 hours of community service, three years’ probation and ordered to pay restitution to the family of the victims, according to prosecutors. He pleaded no contest Friday to two counts of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Truskett, then 53, at first told investigators he must have fallen asleep just before the crash on Highway 58, west of Dennison Road, in October of last year. He later said he recalled looking for ChapStick when his pickup traveled outside its lane and directly into the path of a Hyundai sedan, according to court documents.

The vehicles collided, the impact killing Karl Myles, 60, and Chloe Miller, 58. The car had major front-end damage and a crushed engine compartment, according to the documents, and the dash and steering column were pushed into the driver seat compartment.

Truskett and his family had been driving back from a three-day camping trip in Kernville when the crash occurred, the documents said.

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