Charges Filed In Antwerp Fatal Crash


The driver of a tractor trailer that killed six people appeared in Antwerp town court Tuesday evening to answer a misdemeanor reckless driving charge and three traffic infractions.

James Mills pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was released. He's represented by attorney Gary Miles. A September date has been set for the next court proceeding.

The July 19, 2012 accident killed six people.

Mills, who was 45 at the time of the accident, was the operator of a tractor trailer that plowed into a line of vehicles which were stopped for paving work being done on Route 11 just north of Antwerp.

Among those killed were 42 year old Laurie Dana and her two daughters, 11 year old Lauryn Dana and 14 year old Caitlyn Dana.

In the same vehicle and also killed were the children's grandmother, 69 year old Janet Dana, and 14 year old Shannon Planty, a family friend. All the occupants of the car were from the Brushton area. All five died instantly.

Also killed was 59 year old Maryann Gregory of Dickinson Center, who was in a separate vehicle.

Injured was 44 year old Lewis Lottie of Nicholville, who was a Department of Transportation employee who was driving a DOT pickup truck to a meeting in Watertown.

In the aftermath of the crash, state police said inattention on Mills' part was part of the cause. A report of the accident was prepared and was supposedly set for release by the state, but has never been publicly issued.

The case was presented to a Jefferson County grand jury, which did not bring felony charges against Mills. Instead, grand jurors elected to direct the district attorney to file a "prosecutor's information" for the reckless driving charge and the traffic infractions of following too closely, failure to reduce speed for a hazard and failure to obey a flag person.

Read, watch our earlier coverage of the crash here and here.


Thursday, December 8, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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