Atlanta, GA (WJBF) – Attorneys representing the families of three young nursing students who died in an April 22, 2015 collision on I-16 in Bryan County, Georgia have announced that they have achieved “substantial” settlements for their clients.
This Friday marks the one year anniversary of the tragedy that took five lives and injured three others, when a tractor-trailer ran into the back of the young women’s vehicles.
The three cases were filed to recover for the wrongful deaths of 21-year-old Caitlyn Nicole Baggett, 20-year-old Emily Elizabeth Clark and 21-year-old Abbie Lorene DeLoach. All three women were nursing students at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro at the time of their deaths.
Total Transportation’s President and CEO John Stomps and Vice President of Safety and Recruiting Bob Viso admitted in sworn deposition testimony that John Wayne Johnson, the driver of the 18-wheeler, did not meet Total Transportation’s hiring criteria because he previously rolled a tractor trailer when he fell asleep while working for another company. Total Transportation also made Johnson wait at the terminal for approximately 10 hours before sending him out overnight from Ridgeland, Mississippi to Savannah, Georgia.
The tractor-trailer was also not equipped with a video camera or a collision avoidance system that applied the brakes when a vehicle was stopped in front of it.
The lawyers for the three plaintiffs conducted over a dozen depositions before reaching settlements of the three clients’ cases.