Trucking Company and Trucker Indicted For Causing Fatal 2015 Crash
As reported by Reuters News, a truck driver and the trucking company he worked for were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday in connection with a 2015 crash that killed five Georgia nursing students.
According to court transcripts, John Wayne Johnson, a driver with the Mississippi-based trucking company, Total Transportation, were indicted on five counts of first degree: homicide by vehicle, and with other charges, all posted online with a copy of Johnson’s indictment which was locally reported by broadcaster WFXG.
Georgia State Police department sites that Johnson was driving a Total Transportation tractor-trailer on Interstate 16 near Savannah. Johnson’s failure to stop resulted in a 5-car collision in addition to another tractor-trailer which he also collided with, totaling the count to six vehicles.
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Texting was the reason Johnson gave at court, as he was busy looking down at his phone, leading up to the major wreckage, reported by WSAV-TV. Among the victims were five nursing students from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Sadly all were killed. The students were had recently started their first year of nursing school and were traveling to a training session in Savannah, according to university officials.
Others killed in the accident were Abbie DeLoach, Caitlyn Baggett, Emily Clark, Catherine McKay Pittman and Morgan Bass, all from Georgia.
Total Transportation representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. So far no comments from Johnson either as members of media have not been able to reach him for one either.
The unintended and dangerous consequences of mobile devices have become a scary but avoidable part of our lives, especially while on the road. Mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes. That’s 3,328 people killed, and crashes resulting in an injury – with 421,000 people wounded.
Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.
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The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute report shows that text messaging created a crash risk 23 times worse than driving without distractions.
Eleven percent of younger drivers, aged 18 to 20, involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.
State Laws: Currently there is no national ban on texting or using a wireless phone while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or wireless phones or requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving. For more information on state laws, visit www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html.
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