TILDEN TOWNSHIP — Vehicular homicide charges have been filed against a Michigan truck driver who caused a Route 61 crash that claimed the life of a 9-year-old Hamburg boy in October 2018.

Charges were filed on Joshua Knight, 38, of Michigan on April 16 before  District Judge Kim Bagenstose in Hamburg. Knight was taken into custody Tuesday night in Michigan.

Charges include homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, careless driving and other related traffic offenses.

According to court documents, Knight was distracted by cell phone use when he failed to stop at a red light and crashed his tractor-trailer truck into the rear of a 2004 Nissan Altima on Route 61, stopped at a red light at the intersection of Interstate 78 East in Tilden Township.

The Oct. 20 crash injured five people in the car, including Ysier Diaz-Ramirez,  9, who died the following day as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

The police investigation determined that Knight was traveling at 52 miles per hour at the time of the truck’s impact with the Nissan.

Also, it was discovered that Knight received and sent 18 text messages while driving his route and operating his commercial vehicle. The last outgoing text message from Knight’s cell phone occurred moments prior to the impact, authorities said.

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Lisa Mitchell is an editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers, covering news and events in the Northeast Berks County area.

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