Trucker in Fatal 154 Crash in Court

Joaquin Morales
Tyler Hayden

Joaquin Morales was driving his truck down Highway 154 when — unable to stop — he crashed into a State Street home, killing Leon Leonel, 22; Lorena Tellez Pacheco, 26; and 8-year-old Jaciel Tellez. According to CHP officials, Morales was experiencing brake problems before he got on the 154, but thought he had fixed them. Morales, 61, was charged with three counts of felony vehicular manslaughter and appeared in court on Monday — with an interpreter and his defense attorney Mark Pachowicz — but didn’t enter a plea. The hearing was continued until next week. “He’s disappointed,” said Pachowicz. “He is deeply saddened by the whole tragic accident from that day.” If convicted, Morales could face up to eight years, eight months in prison.


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