Reports: Man charged in Tehachapi crash that killed two had taken his eyes off the road to look for lip balm

Crime Watch

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KGET) — A man facing two misdemeanor counts of manslaughter told investigators he went off the roadway and into an opposing lane, colliding with another vehicle, after taking his eyes off the road to look for lip balm.

A breath test determined Robert Truskett was not under the influence in the October crash on Highway 58 that killed Fresno resident Karl Myles, 60, and Chloe Miller, 58, according to court documents filed by the California Highway Patrol.

Truskett, 53, at first told investigators he must have fallen asleep just before the crash. He later changed his statement and said he recalled looking for ChapStick in his pickup when he traveled off the roadway and directly into the path of the Hyundai sedan occupied by Myles and Miller.

The sedan sustained major front-end damage and a crushed engine compartment, according to court filings. The dash and steering column were pushed into the driver seat compartment.

The crash happened at about 12:55 p.m. west of Dennison Road. Statements from Truskett and witnesses indicated both vehicles were traveling at an estimated speed of about 70 mph.

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

Charges were filed against Truskett in April but no court dates have been set, according to the Superior Court website.

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