$80M settlements in truck crash that killed nursing students

Families of victims of  a tractor-trailer crash that killed five nursing students and injured two other have settled lawsuits for nearly $80 million, according to the Daily Report.

On April 22, 2015, 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.

Kim Deloach McQuaig, mother of Abbie Deloach, filed the wrongful death civil suit April 29, 2015, against Total Transportation and its insurers, claiming they are responsible for the fatal crash for following too closely and driving too fast for conditions.

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.

Attorney Joe Fried said the settlements were negotiated with Total Transportation of Mississippi, US Xpress and their insurers and confirmed settlement information from the Daily Report.

Earlier, according to the Daily Report, two $14 million settlements were secured on behalf of the parents of Morgan Bass and the family of Catherine McKay Pittman; and a $5 million settlement was obtained on behalf of Brittany McDaniel, who was ejected from a car and survived.

Representatives for the second crash survivor, Megan Richards, said her case has not yet been settled, according  the Daily Report.

“While the dollar amounts are substantial,” Fried told the legal publication, “it does not change a darn thing for any of these families in terms of the size of their pain, their grief, and their loss.”