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I-16 Truck Accident

April Crash Kills Five Nursing Students on I-16 - Update

Last month, we discussed a tragic crash involving a tractor-trailer driving on I-16 that killed five nursing students from Georgia Southern University. The crash occurred approximately 20 miles from Savannah in Bryan County. It involved two tractor-trailers and five passenger vehicles. Authorities believe that the crash occurred when one of the tractor-trailers crashed into an SUV and rolled over a smaller passenger vehicle that caught fire. The tractor-trailer then stopped after crashing into a tanker vehicle. Authorities are looking into whether the driver blamed for the crash, John Wayne Johnson, fell asleep at the wheel.

It was reported that John Wayne Johnson has a history of falling asleep while driving. The law firm representing two of the nursing students in a wrongful death suit against Total Transportation, the company that employed John Wayne Johnson, and its parent company U.S. Xpress has obtained documentation showing this fact. Johnson had been fired from another trucking company in 2011 for a wreck caused by his falling asleep while driving. The attorney representing the families in the lawsuit believes that Johnson fell asleep at the wheel prior to hitting the SUVs carrying the Georgia Southern students. The truck hit the SUVs at full speed, with no evidence that John attempted to brake or any other action to evade the crash.

There is also an investigation into whether Total Transportation took steps to ensure that Johnson was a safe driver prior to offering him employment. At the time of the crash, he had been driving for approximately 10 hours and 30 minutes. The maximum driving time limit for truck drivers is 11 hours.

At this time, Johnson has not been charged in the crash. Whether he will be charged is pending autopsy results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Crime Lab.

The Director of Communications for U.S. Xpress, Natalie Cole Parker, issued a brief statement regarding the crash saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the Georgia Southern community. We do not comment on litigation matters.”

Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.

If you or a loved one were severely injured in an auto accident, the Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. are here to help. Our experienced team can help you fight for fair compensation and walk you through the personal injury claims process.