A Georgia truck driver has been charged with felony involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor reckless driving in the six-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon that left a Spotsylvania County woman dead and three others injured, Fredericksburg police said.

A police department release Friday said James Edward Lee, 62, of McDonough, Ga., was driving a semi truck, without a trailer, in the center lane of eastbound State Route 3 just before noon when he moved into the right lane. The tractor then crashed into five cars stopped for a red light at the Gateway Boulevard intersection in Fredericksburg.

“There was no indication of the tractor braking,” police spokeswoman Sarah Kirkpatrick said in the release. She said detectives are still trying to determine what caused him to crash into the cars.

Shari Laney, 54, was trapped in the vehicle and died at the scene, police said.

Three other people were taken to the hospital.

They were an 80-year-old man, residence unknown, who was in the car with Laney; a 46-year-old man from Ruther Glen; and a 56-year-old woman from Locust Grove. One of the victims has been released. The other two remain hospitalized, one in critical condition, police said.

Lee was taken to the hospital for treatment following the crash and was still being treated as of Friday morning, police said.

Police and rescue crews were at the scene for more than two hours, during which time that area of eastbound Route 3 and both Interstate 95 exits to the highway in that direction were closed. The closures snarled traffic on Route 3 and the interstate for hours.

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Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436 sshenk@freelancestar.com

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