Baton Rouge Man Arrested In Connection With Vancleave Family's Death In Accident

By Toni Miles - bio | email

VANCLEAVE (WLOX) - " They were the fairy tale family," said Olivia Bucaciuc, a friend of the Van Stine family.

That fairy tale was shattered on July 29, 2008, when a wreck on I-12 in Baton Rouge claimed the lives of Phillip Van Alstine, his wife, Shyla, who was a Vancleave High School teacher and their 7-year-old daughter, Haylie.

Two weeks after family and friends said their final goodbyes, 40-year-old James Lane is facing charges in connection with their deaths. The Baton Rouge man, who was driving a Waste Management truck when the wreck occurred, has been charged with three counts of negligent homicide, two counts of negligent injury and a reckless operation charge.

The arrest was made Thursday after authorities reviewed event recording devices from the three vehicles involved in the wreck. The devices are simple pieces of metal you can find in most cars, and they can tell a lot.

"Whether or not the brakes were applied, whether or not the accelerator pedal, whether you had your seat belt on, whether or not you're speeding," said Craig Anderson, Gerry Lane's Service Manager.

Authorities are blaming speed for the accident. According to court documents, Lane was allegedly driving his Waste Management truck, weighing nearly 70,000 pounds, 13 miles over the speed limit, when the three-car collision took place.

An arrest warrant says Lane's Waste Management truck hit a Chevy Express van which ran into the Chevy Explorer four members of the Van Alstine family were traveling in.

Lane has been released on a $50,000 bond.