A Mississippi truck driver admitted he drank two or three beers and five double-shot margaritas at a New Jersey restaurant before he caused an 11-vehicle crash that killed three people on Interstate 83 near Harrisburg Friday night, state police said in charging documents.
Jack E. Satterfield III also told police he saw slow-moving traffic ahead of him at the last minute and could not avoid crashing at the Union Deposit Road exit in Lower Paxton Township around 8:30 p.m.
Satterfield, 29, of McComb, is charged with three counts each of homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while DUI, accidents involving death or personal injury, and accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed.
His commercial driver’s license had been suspended.
Zachary Lybrand, 24, of Middletown, a 16-month-old Middletown girl, and a Messiah College senior, 22-year-old Ethan VanBochoven of Pompton Plains, New Jersey, died in the crash. Police did not release the child’s name.
Seven others were taken to hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say Satterfield hit the rear bumper of one vehicle and continued northbound, demolishing or colliding with numerous other vehicles.
He then fled his truck, crossed the interstate and hopped a fence, and ran to a hotel parking lot where he watched the crash scene from a distance, the criminal complaint states.
Police said his truck had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage. He was taken to a hospital for a voluntary blood draw to determine his blood-alcohol content or other substances.
The crash closed I-83 for more than seven hours.
Satterfield is in Dauphin County Prison without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 31.