On April 22, 2015, a multi-vehicle crash occurred on Interstate 16 in Ellabell, Georgia. Five nursing students died in the accident.
On April 29, 2015, the mother of one of those students filed a new wrongful death lawsuit in Bryan County, Georgia. She blames trucking companies Total Transportation and parent company U.S. Xpress for the accident, claiming that their driver acted carelessly in causing the crash.
Mother Blames Trucking Company for Deadly Accident
According to CNN, the students were from the Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, and were traveling in cars to a hospital in Savannah when the accident happened. They were on their way to finish their first set of clinical rotations—hands-on training—for their first year of nursing school.
There was another accident on the Interstate at about 5:45 in the morning that slowed the eastbound lane of cars. Traffic was stop and go, but one tractor-trailer coming up behind the students failed to slow down. He smashed into the two cars carrying the nursing students, causing a multi-car pileup that eventually involved seven total vehicles. These included three tractor-trailers, two pickup trucks and two cars (a Toyota Corolla and Ford Escape). One of the cars carrying the students burst into flames. Road crews and trucks worked to clear the wreckage for more than six hours.
Five of the students were killed because of the crash. Abbie Lorene Deloach, 21 years old, was one of them. Her mother, Kim Deloach McQuaig, filed the lawsuit.
Total Transportation held the registration on the tractor-trailer, which is why the plaintiff in this case named them as defendants. The driver, a 55-year-old from Louisiana, has not been charged, though according to the complaint, it was his actions that caused the accident. The plaintiff claims he was driving too fast, following too closely, and failed to keep a proper lookout regarding the hazards on the road at the time. She also states that he failed to apply the truck’s brakes or to try to maneuver it in a way that would have helped avoid the collision.
Second Lawsuit Filed by Grieving Parents
The state patrol is still investigating the crash, and has stated that it may take months to complete their report. Though the plaintiff claims it was the driver’s negligence that caused the accident, she hasn’t named him in the lawsuit, her attorney told The Florida Times-Union, because so far there has been no indication that he was under the influence, distracted, or had been driving for too many hours. He also mentioned that the driver seemed deeply remorseful.
According to local news, the parents of one of the other students killed in the crash—Emily Clark, 21—have also filed a lawsuit against the trucking companies and two drivers. They claim the driver of the tractor-trailer caused the accident, stating he had an alert system in his vehicle that would have alerted him to the danger, yet he didn’t make an effort to avoid the crash.
The plaintiffs in this case are also suing Robert Gordon Tayloe and the owner of his tractor-trailer, Greywolf Logistics, for allegedly causing the other accident that slowed traffic in the first place.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.