- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

READING, Pa. (AP) - The driver of a tractor-trailer that slammed into a line of stopped cars on an eastern Pennsylvania highway last month, killing two people, has been ordered to stand trial on vehicular homicide charges.

Fifty-year-old Steven Bernier of Reading is also charged with aggravated assault by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangering in the Nov. 19 crash on Route 222 in Maidencreek Township.

Prosecutors in Berks County said he fell asleep at the wheel and could react in time to avoid the crash that killed 23-year-old Jeremy Augustine of Emmaus and 32-year-old Jane Harakal of Topton. Nine other people were injured.

Defense attorney Robert Kirwan II said evidence presented at Wednesday’s preliminary hearing didn’t support the charges, and prosecutors were “trying to make a criminal case out of a tragic accident.”

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