Mother of Nursing Student Sues Trucking Company For Deadly Crashby Jana Ritter - Published: 5/01/2015
Its been just over a week since the tragic accident which left five Georgia Nursing students dead and one mother is wasting no time in filing a lawsuit against the people she says are responsible. Kim Deloach McQuaig, mother of 21-year-old Abbie Deloach who died in the accident, has filed a wrongful death suit against Total Transportation of Mississippi and its parent company, U.S. Xpress Enterprises of Tennessee. The civil suit has been filed in Bryan County State Court and is seeking monetary damages for negligence causing the wrongful death of Abbie Deloach.
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The early morning crash occurred on April 22nd along the I-16 in Bryan County and along with Abbie Deloach it also claimed the lives of Caitlyn Baggett, Emily Clark, Catherine McKay Pittman and Morgan Bass. The five junior nursing students were hit killed while driving to their nursing clinical class. While it had been a lesser crash that initially caused the traffic to backup, the Georgia State Patrol now says that the Total Transportation tractor-trailer came along and smashed into stop-and-go traffic and according to one witness, pushed a tanker truck along with it.
"It all just happened quickly I saw the brake lights ahead of me and was just able to stop without any problem. But i couldn't say people were going too fast…I was sitting in my truck and probably five to ten seconds after I had stopped, I heard a loud bang and I saw a tractor trailer pushing the tanker truck past me," explained Army Specialist William Robenolt.
The Georgia State patrol says it was the tractor-trailer that smashed into the two vehicles in which the nursing students were carpooling and caused one of the cars to burst into flames. A total of seven vehicles were damaged in the crash. McQuaig’s lawsuit has added to the account and goes on to say that the driver for Total transportation was "following too close", and he "acted recklessly, carelessly" and with "total disregard of the rights and safety of other persons using the highway." The suit also alleges that the driver of the tractor-trailer "suddenly and without warning" ran into the car in which Abbie Deloach was riding. He had the "last clear chance" to avoid the collision.
While the Georgia State Patrol is still investigating the details of the crash and has not yet filed any charges against the Total Transportation driver, McQuaig is suing the company for punitive damages, in excess of $15,000. McQuaig’s attorney, Mark Tate, released a statement saying, “This is not about revenge. This not about an eye for an eye. This is about the appropriate way to resolve problems between parties.”
Tate also confirmed that they’re not holding the truck driver responsible in the lawsuit. “If we thought there were criminal actions — that he was under the influence or texting or driving for an excessive number of hours — we would have named him” in the lawsuit. It’s not really for me to get completely into, but I know that he is absolutely, deeply remorseful.”