Police: Newville truck driver was drinking prior to crash that killed West Virginia man on I-81 in April

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SOUTH MIDDLETON TOWNSHIP, Cumberland County — A 47-year-old tanker truck driver has been charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI and other offenses after police say he had been drinking before he struck a firefighter who was changing a tire along Interstate 81 in April.

Robert A. Runyon, of Newville, is also charged with DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, recklessly endangering another person, and several traffic violations, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed by State Police.

Robert Marshall, 57, of West Virginia, was killed in the April 13 crash. Marshall was a firefighter in Washington, D.C., police say.

According to police, Marshall was changing a tire on I-81, near mile marker 45.3 near Carlisle. He was taken to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he died of injuries sustained in the crash on April 21.

Police spoke to Runyon at the scene. The criminal complaint says he told them he was driving north on I-81 in a water tank truck when a car in front of him slowed down. He attempted to avoid the car by swerving to the right, ran off the road, and struck Marshall’s car, which was parked on the right shoulder while Marshall worked to change the tire.

Runyon did not see Marshall until he got out of the truck, he told police.

Police noted that while Runyon spoke to a trooper, the trooper detected the faint odor of alcohol on him, and he appeared to be lethargic, according to the criminal complaint.

Runyon denied that he had been drinking, police say.

Police searching Runyon’s vehicle discovered an open, 16-ounce can of Miller Lite beer on the floor of the driver’s side, the criminal complaint states.

Runyon submitted to a blood test, which registered his blood-alcohol content at 0.225 percent, which exceeded the state legal limit of 0.08 percent, police say.

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