Man sent to jail for fatal steel coil crash on U.S. 127

A Kentucky man is serving a jail sentence for a September crash in St. Clair Twp. that killed a man when steel coil fell from a passing semi on U.S. 127.

Blake A. Mulder of Seven Mile was killed on the morning of Sept. 15, 2021 near Morganthaler Road. A semi-tractor trailer owned by Total Package Express, Inc. was traveling north on U.S. 127 carrying a steel coil that became unsecured, fell into the southbound lane and struck Mulder’s SUV, the sheriff’s office said. Mulder was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two crash reports were filed in connection with the fatal crash report — one from the semi driver, Keith Blackwell, 56, of Louisville, Ky., who reported about 6:15 a.m. that another truck almost ran him off the road, and a second involving two drivers whose vehicles were disabled when they drove into the crash debris field.

Blackwell called 911 to report a coil had fallen in the road, but he didn’t know another vehicle had been hit, according to the call. The semi driver told dispatchers another driver had run him off the road a few miles back and there is a report about that incident that happened prior to the fatal crash.

After months of investigation by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Blackwell was charged with vehicular manslaughter, a first-degree misdemeanor, and unsecured load, a minor misdemeanor in Hamilton Municipal Court.

On April 29, Blackwell plead no contest and Judge Dan Gattermeyer found him guilty of the charges.

Blackwell was sentenced to 90 days in the Butler County Jail with 45 days suspended. He was sentenced to two years supervised community control, ordered to have no contact with the victim’s family, and to take 40 hours of semi truck driving safety classes, according to court records. His license is suspended until September 2023.

About the Author