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Homicide Charges Against Driver and Trucking Company for Deaths of Five Georgia Southern Students

Posted on - Friday, August 5, 2016 under Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death Homicide Charges Against Driver and Trucking Company for Deaths of Five Georgia Southern Students

You likely recall the horrific story from last year about a tractor-trailer collision in Bryant County that took the lives of five nursing students from Georgia Southern University and injured two others. I use the word “collision” purposefully, because first-degree homicide charges are rarely brought for “accidents.”

But in this case, homicide charges are exactly what have been brought against both the driver and the trucking company responsible for this tragedy. In June, a Bryant County grand jury indicted the driver on nine criminal counts, including five counts of first-degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, following too closely and failure to exercise due care. Additionally, the trucking company was indicted on five counts of first-degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle and criminal responsibility of corporations.

Investigators believe the truck rear-ended a Toyota Corolla carrying three of the students and then hit the Ford Escape carrying the other four. It is believed that the trucker was texting at the time and completely failed to stop.

These criminal indictments come after families for four of the five students entered into multi-million dollar settlements with the driver, the trucking company and its parent company earlier this year.

Two families are still pursuing wrongful death and personal injury claims, and these criminal cases will no doubt become at least somewhat intertwined with the civil cases. As is the case with injury suits against drunk drivers who are also charged with DUI, the evidence used by prosecutors to obtain a conviction – police reports, field sobriety tests, trucking company records, duty logs, witness statements, etc. – can also be used to prove negligence in the civil suit.

Whether by prosecutors or by those whose lives have been upended by the negligence of tractor-trailer drivers and their employers, these parties need to be held accountable for their conduct. As an experienced tractor-trailer injury lawyer who has seen the devastation caused by negligent truckers, that is exactly what I try to do.

At The Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have extensive experience helping individuals and families who are living in the aftermath of a big-rig accident. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, please give us a call at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.