Tristan Martin named as teen driver of big rig in deadly Colorado accident

A Channel 11 News story has identified 16-year old Tristan Martin as the teenage driver of an 18-wheeler pulling a loaded horse trailer that struck and killed Amanda Omo-lyamu (38) and Shun Jones (48) on Interstate 70 near Limon, Colorado. Omo-lyamu of Balch Spring, Texas and Jones of Carrollton, Texas were stopped changing a spare tire at the time of the accident.

Tristan Martin’s 37-year old father Michel Martin had initially said he had been driving the 2003 Volvo tractor trailer, but police investigation determined Tristan was behind the wheel at the time. Very soon after the impact Tristan Martin’s friends, who had been following the big rig in another vehicles, picked up Tristan and drove him away from the accident scene leaving his father Michel behind to speak to the police.

Some states permit teenagers to get a commercial driver’s license, but they must be at least 18-years old. Interstate truckers must be at least 21-years old. Lydia Martin, Tristan’s aunt, is quoted in the Channel 11 article as telling reporters that Tristan didn’t need a commercial driver’s license because the vehicle only had one axle and they considered it to be a personal farm vehicle. Authorities in Colorado are still investigating whether Tristan and his father were in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Amanda Omo-lyamu’s husband Emmanuel said he “…would have preferred somebody capable of handling a truck like that was the one behind the wheel.” Emmanuel told reporters that Amanda had recently lost her job at a Marshall’s department store and was trying to reconnect with old family members.

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