Tractor-trailer driver charged in fatal wreck on I-85 appears in court, claims arrest was ‘illegal’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The tractor-trailer driver charged in Friday’s fatal wreck on Interstate 85 in Greensboro appeared in court Monday.

Daniel S. Serna, 34, of Hollywood, Fla., is charged with felony hit and run and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Officials said six motorcycles were parked on the side of the road due to mechanical issues with one of the bikes when a tractor-trailer hit them. The truck then came to a stop further up on I-85.

According to prosecutors, the truck was traveling approximately 80-85 mph at the time of the accident.

Troopers said they believe the only reason Serna stopped about half a mile up the road is because he had a flat tire from the crash.

Troopers said they believe Serna fell asleep at the wheel.

Prosecutors on Monday said he was alert and not impaired after the crash. He and his co-driver were not injured.

During his court appearance Monday, Serna, who only speaks Spanish, said he believed his arrest was “illegal.” He claimed none of the investigators spoke Spanish.

Two motorcyclists were killed in the crash.

Kenneth N. Jefferson, 51, of South Chesterfield, Va., died Sunday morning at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center after being hospitalized in critical condition, according to officials.

Arnie M. Morris, 37, of Woodbridge, Va., was instantly killed in the crash. Four other motorcyclists have been treated for their injuries.

Those victims have been identified as Jerome D. Howard, 48, of Woodbridge, Va.; Caroline Campbell, 47, of North Chesterfield, Va.; Michael A. Robinson Sr., 57, of Woodbridge, Va.; and Gregory D. Harmon, 44, of Bowie, Md.

The motorcyclists were on the way from northern Virginia/southern Maryland to Atlanta for a motorcycle rally, according to officials.

Prosecutors say Serna had his CDL for one year. He legally immigrated to the United States 3 1/2 years ago. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and teenage daughter.

Bond for Serna was set at $100,000 and he is due back in court Aug. 18.