Quoting from the transcript of Helton's deposition, as it was read and replayed for the Court at the evidentiary hearing, are the following relevant portions, which begin with Helton describing what he observed when he crawled out of the Hummer after the crash with Valek:
QUESTION: Well, let me ask you this way: Give me what sensations you had in terms of sound, force, feeling, what you sensed when this 18–wheeler, this red 18–wheeler came by.
ANSWER [Helton]: I looked up from being in front of the Hummer. I looked because I saw lights coming, getting brighter. And I looked up, and the truck was (makes sounds) and I jump *786 back, massive energy force, wind, major impact, major boom, crunch, splat. And as it ... as it cleared the immediate impact area, it feathered its brakes, went 200 yards, stopped; hit the brakes and slowed down significantly; took his foot off the brakes, and you could hear (makes sounds).
QUESTION: Okay. And either ... either in its headlights or when it hit its brakes, could you see Don anywhere in the road?
QUESTION: Okay. After it left, tell me what happened. I understand your shoes had been knocked off and you were walking ... I think you testified that you ... tell me what happened.
ANSWER [Helton]: Exactly what happened, after the truck left, I was pissed off. I knew that something wrong had happened. I was cursing, yelling down the road at the truck; walked out on the street to ... around to the driver's rear door, kneeled down, pulled the bags off of Kelly.
I looked up. The truck is at this point in time just very distant. I was thinking, you know, this guy is going to come back, you know, and he never did. And there was no cars. There was no lights.
The dome light, which was on the ground, was lit so I could see Kelly's face. And then she was ... blood all over her face. She was bent all the way over. I was pulling bags out, and I reached in as far as I could and grabbed her hand.
And I said, “You are going to be okay. It is okay. You are all right. It is okay.”
I said, ‘I don't know, but I'm going to go look for him ...’
And I continued to hold her hand; get up and start walking down the road, and I'm walking in guts, blood and guts. I could feel it between my toes with my socks on. And then I tripped over an object and in my ... I have no shoes on, and there was glass, metal everywhere, but I hit a solid object.
I looked down and seen in the moonlight, I could see the outline, and it was Don's shoe, his white ankle sock, his leg up to the top of his thigh, and all of his muscles and nerves hanging out of it.
And I reached down and I touched it. And I was like, ‘Oh, fuck,’ is exactly what I said. At that point in time, I picked the leg up, and I'm ... at this point in time, I'm in shock.
As I walked back toward the Hummer and toward Kelly, didn't know where Don landed, didn't know where he was at that point in time. All I saw was blood, guts and body parts. Walking back to the Hummer in the far right lane is when I saw the lights of the other truck coming in, and I was like, oh, my God, here we go again.
But this truck geared down and makes sounds. You could hear the brakes. It would skid a little bit, grinding down the gears, it's all the way over. And it was hitting metal objects. It passed me by a large distance and then comes over to the right-hand lane and stops.
I walked back to Kelly and checked on her. I get back up, and I walk back over towards the truck that had stopped. The lady gets out of the truck and she is, ‘oh, my God. Oh, my God. Call 911.’ I was pissed off. I just didn't want to go over there, so I went back to Kelly.
Walking back to Kelly is when I see the headlights of the Lincoln and the guy, the silver-headed guy walking around out there. When his lights were on, I could see Jacob Valek's car, and I could see him, and he is just hanging out *787 of the car dead. I didn't bother to go over to check on him because, frankly, I didn't even care.
I went back over to Kelly. While walking over to Kelly, looking around for Don, never saw him, his upper torso, and then go back to Kelly and that is when I kind of blank out.
The police officers come. And the first police officer says, ‘Sir, are you okay?’ And I remember saying, ‘No, I'm not, I can't breathe. I don't know what is wrong with me.’ And then I said, ‘You guys need to go get this fucking truck that just left. Somebody just ran through here.’
QUESTION: Let me stop you right there for a second, please, sir. Was this noise loud enough ... a loud enough noise that it could have been easily heard by anybody?
QUESTION: Like an explosion?
ANSWER [Helton]: Absolutely.
QUESTION: ... Is there any doubt in your mind that the truck that came through after you heard Don moaning was an 18–wheeler?
ANSWER [Helton]: Yes, no doubt in my mind.
QUESTION: Okay. Did any vehicle, between the time you heard Don's moaning, the time you heard this explosion and the 18–wheeler come through and leave the scene, did any other vehicle come through that could have struck Don?
QUESTION: Any question in your mind?
ANSWER [Helton]: There is no doubt in my mind.
QUESTION: Are you speculating on that?
ANSWER [Helton]: No. I know for a fact no other vehicle went through there.
QUESTION: All right, let me stop you there. There were some questions that I think were intended to see whether this was Mr. Valek moaning or Don Ashton moaning, and here is my question to you: How long had you known Don?
ANSWER [Helton]: Since 2002; five years.
QUESTION: Did you know Don's voice?
ANSWER [Helton]: Oh, yes.
QUESTION: Did you know if this was Don or someone else moaning?
ANSWER [Helton]: It was definitely Don.
QUESTION: Any doubt in your mind?
ANSWER [Helton]: No doubt.