Truck driver accused of assault arrested after tires catch fire

Lou Whitmire Mansfield News Journal Published 11:08 AM EDT Jun 15, 2020 MANSFIELD – The driver of a flatbed tractor-trailer faces several charges after an incident that began with the assault of a woman at Love’s Truck Stop on Ohio 97 in Bellville on Saturday night and ended with a vehicle fire on Woodbury Road, according to a report from the Mansfield post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Jerry Williams, 35, of Marysville, Tennessee, has been charged with failure to control, OVI, obstructing official business and hit/skip for damaging properties in Mansfield Police Department’s jurisdiction and the guardrail, Sgt. Shane Morrow of the Mansfield post said.

At 11:46 p.m. Saturday, Bellville police received a report that a man had assaulted a woman at the truck stop, Morrow said.

A “be on the lookout” alert was issued for the driver’s arrest. Lexington police found the flatbed tractor-trailer and followed the vehicle until troopers caught up with it. Morrow said it was not a pursuit. The commercial flatbed truck stopped to let the woman out of the cab along the way, Morrow said.

Lexington police officers stayed with the woman, who said she told the driver to let her out when the vehicle’s tires caught fire. Williams continued on and when troopers found the vehicle on Woodbury Road off Ohio 546, the commercial truck’s tires were on fire. The driver refused to get out and had to be removed from the fiery vehicle, the trooper said.

The woman reported the man had knives and fireworks inside the truck.

Truck driver accused of assault arrested after tires catch fire

Williams’ tires caught fire due to damage the trailer sustained after crashing into a guardrail, Morrow said. The driver was running on his rims. The cab was drivable, but the vehicle was towed as the trailer sustained fire and crash damage, Morrow said.

Williams remained in the Richland County Jail on Monday, awaiting an arraignment in Mansfield Municipal Court. Morrow said the woman went to a hospital after the assault at the truck stop and then she had Williams pick her up. She was from out west, the sergeant said.

He did not know her relationship to the driver. Williams was not injured. lwhitmir@gannett.com

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