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Manslaughter trial set in I-70 crash

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:12 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

A trial date has been set for a Tennessee man who police say caused a fiery eight-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 this summer that killed four people.

George M. Albright Jr., 61, appeared at a preliminary hearing Monday and will stand trial on Dec. 18 on four counts of second-degree involuntary manslaughter in the 13th Circuit Court. Albright, of Clarksville, Tenn., was charged in connection with a multi-vehicle accident on I-70 on June 1 in Callaway County 30 miles east of Columbia.

Albright was driving east on I-70 when his tractor-trailer collided with a car driven by Beverly Garrett, 57, of Kansas City, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported. Albright’s truck then careened into six other vehicles, crossed a median and westbound lanes, coming to rest on an embankment.

Four related Kansas City women died in the accident: Garrett; Anita Gibbs, 55; Beulah Hunter, 94; and Eloise Jeans, 81. The women were on their way to a relative’s wedding anniversary party in Kansas City. Four others were injured, including Zoe Smith, 53, an MU photojournalism professor.

Albright is also named in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Roy Gibbs, the husband of Anita Gibbs. Other defendants in that suit include the owner of the truck Albright was driving, the Cincinnati-based Truckers Plus HR Inc., five companies that were contractually involved in the leasing of the tractor-trailer and the Missouri State Highways and Transportation Commission.


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