August 23, 2014
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) - Riverside County authorities say a man charged with stealing a big-rig truck then causing several collisions that left seven people injured told investigators he had to do it because he was fleeing from zombies.
Nineteen-year-old Jerimiah Hartline of Tennessee pleaded not guilty Wednesday to six felonies including assault with a deadly weapon.
Hartline was arrested Saturday after the rig, loaded with strawberries, overturned on Interstate 15 in Temecula.
California Highway Patrol Officer Nathan Baer tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Hartline said in a jailhouse interview that zombies had been chasing him and he had to get away.
The trucker told the CHP that Hartline was an acquaintance from Tennessee who stowed away, but was allowed to remain. He stole the rig when the driver got out at roadside scales.
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