Lawsuit filed in crash that killed 5 Georgia Southern students

One week after five Georgia Southern University students were killed in a multi-vehicle crash near Savannah, a lawsuit has been filed against the trucking company of the driver who allegedly set off the deadly pileup.

Kim Deloach McQuaig, mother of Abbie Deloach, filed the wrongful death civil suit Wednesday against Total Transportation and its insurers, claiming they are responsible for the fatal crash.

“Defendant Total Transportation’s employee breached this duty by following too closely, failing to keep a proper lookout, driving at a speed greater than was reasonable and prudent under highway conditions, and driving without regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Bryan County State Court.

On April 22, five nursing students were headed to a Savannah hospital for their final clinicals of the school year when they were involved in the multi-vehicle crash on I-16.

Abbie Deloach, 20, of Savannah, Emily Clark, 20, of Powder Springs, Morgan Bass, 20, of Leesburg, Catherine “McKay” Pittman, 21, of Alpharetta, and Caitlyn Baggett, 21, of Millen, all died. Two other students were injured, but survived the crash.

Investigators said John Wayne Johnson, 55, of Shreveport, La., was driving the tractor-trailer that crashed into the back of an SUV, initiating the chain-reaction wreck. No criminal charges have been filed against Johnson by the Georgia State Patrol, which is investigating the wreck.

In the days after the crash, an investigation into the trucking company revealed it had been cited numerous times for serious safety violations.

The lawsuit requests a trial by jury, $15,000 for injuries and damages, and an unspecified amount for punitive damages.

Deloach’s funeral was held Saturday in Savannah.

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