Trucker dies of injuries after fiery Loudoun Co. crash, additional charges given to other driver

The driver of a semi-truck involved in a fiery crash on Route 28 in Loudoun County, Virginia, last month has died. Now, the driver who caused the crash is facing more charges.

The driver of a black Nissan Altima was traveling south on Route 28 when he crashed into the semi, causing it to overturn, and then crashed into a Toyota Prius, the sheriff’s office said.

Cesar Yepez, 33, of Centreville, died Monday after succumbing to serious injuries he sustained in the Sept. 18 crash that left three others injured, according to a news release from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Yepez was driving a semi-truck carrying food products southbound on Route 28 near Sterling Boulevard when deputies said he was struck from behind by a Nissan Altima driven by 18-year-old Jose Padilla Espinosa. The crash caused the truck to overturn and catch fire, trapping Yepez who called for help from bystanders.

“I heard the driver yelling for help,” said Mark Pembleton, the bystander who put his life on the line to save Yepez. “He was screaming ‘I have kids, please help me.'”

Pembleton sustained serious burns to his arms and head.

“I looked down on my arms and saw how burned they were. The skin looked like it was melted off,” Pembleton said. “If it was any hotter, I don’t think I could have done it, because it was right at the point of where I thought I would instantly burst into flames.”

A Toyota Prius was also struck by Espinosa, according to deputies. Two others were evaluated on the scene for burn injuries and have since been discharged from the hospital.

Espinosa was arrested and initially charged with having forged tags and driving without insurance.

Following the death of Yepez, Espinosa was arrested again Monday and obtained additional charges including involuntary manslaughter, reckless and aggressive driving, among other traffic related charges.

He is currently being held without bond at Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is a freelance digital writer/editor at WTOP. She is a recent graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up