The survivor of a truck crash that killed five Georgia Southern nursing students has been awarded $15 million by a jury. The jury apportioned 100 percent of the fault for the accident to the driver of the truck and his employer, Total Transportation of Mississippi LLC.
The accident happened in April of 2015 and left the survivor of the crash with a traumatic brain injury. There were two cars of nursing students from Georgia Southern stopped in traffic on I-16 in Bryan County due to an earlier accident.
The truck ran over a Toyota Corolla at highway speed and then slammed into a Ford Escape, carrying the victim awarded the money. There were only two survivors of the crash from the group of nursing students. There were three girls in each car. They were all headed to a hospital in the Savannah area to work on their clinical rotations.
The victim sued the driver of the truck, the company, U.S. Xpress Inc. and others. Experts who testified in the case explained that the victim suffered an impact comparable to hitting the ground strapped into a seat and pushed out of a seven-story building.
The lawsuit asked for compensatory and punitive damages, but only compensatory damages were awarded to the victim of the crash. Testimony from witnesses said that the driver was traveling on little sleep prior to the crash and that the driver was transferring data on his cellphone. Testimony provided also noted that the driver would not cooperate when asked about his cellphone use.
The drive pleaded guilty to nine criminal charges related to the truck crash. These charges include five counts of first-degree criminal homicide. Using a plea deal last year, the driver was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of probation.
Lawsuits were filed on behalf of the five deceased victims, but those families settled out of court. The other surviving victim received a $5 million settlement.
An experienced truck accidents attorney in Atlanta, Georgia can explain your rights to you following an accident.
Source: CVN, “BREAKING VERDICT: $15M Award to Survivor of Truck Crash that Killed 5 Georgia Southern Nursing Students,” Arlin Crisco, Jan. 19, 2017