According to the Georgia State Patrol, five people were killed and three others injured last week after a semi caused a chain-reaction crash along I-16 near Savannah. Authorities stated that the deadly accident occurred after an 18-wheeler failed to slow down and smashed into stop-and-go traffic.
The five people killed were nursing students at Georgia Southern University—which is located about 30 miles from the crash site. Troopers said that the semi plowed into an SUV, then rolled over a small passenger car that burst into flames. The big truck came to a halt after slamming into the back of a tanker.
The crash happened reportedly around 6 a.m. when traffic was already heavy due to an unrelated accident about a mile ahead that forced drivers to already slow down, Sgt 1st Class Chris Nease stated.
In a report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the young women had big dreams of becoming nurses, and they were getting real-life experience at a Savannah hospital. During the morning of the accident, the group was on the road, heading for their final clinical of the school year at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital. Unfortunately, they never made it to their destination.
John Wayne Johnson has been identified as the truck driver involved in the 7-vehicle collision. Johnson is reportedly from Shreveport, Louisiana. WTOC and the Atlanta Journal Constitution have reported that federal investigators had flagged Total Transportation of Mississippi as a “carrier at risk,” and that the driver safety record for the company was worse than 90 percent. KSLA-TV spoke briefly with the company’s CEO on the phone, John Stomps, who said “We are cooperating with the ongoing investigation. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and the Georgia Southern community.”
On Friday, an attorney for the mother of one of the nursing students killed in the crash stated that he was evaluating and preserving crucial evidence as he and his legal team decide whether to file a wrongful death suit.
According to Attorney Joseph A. Fried, Total Transportation of Mississippi, has a “history of unsafe driving.” He has actually sued the trucking company in the past.
Here at EJ Leizerman & Associates we believe that if it proves true that the company has failed to make safety a priority time and time again, they should be held responsible for their negligent behavior. Failing to abide by FMCSA guidelines demonstrates that it was only a matter of time before a tragedy as the one discussed above occurred.
If you or someone you know have been injured by a commercial truck, call the truck accident attorneys at EJ Leizerman & Associates today to learn how we possibly can help with your case. Consultations are free. You can reach us at 1-800-628-4500.