An I-75 car accident led to the deaths of seven people, including five children and two adults. Another eight were rushed to a nearby hospital. Most have now been released, although it will undoubtedly take time to recover from the trauma of such a tragedy. The crash involved several vehicles, including a full church van en route to Disney World, and two tractor trailers.
One of the tractor trailers traveling northbound collided with another vehicle, and both vehicles smashed through a nearby guardrail, drifting into the southbound lanes. Another tractor trailer and the passenger van going south collided with the two vehicles. According to authorities, one of the truck drivers had accrued a slew of traffic tickets over the years.
The auto accident has resulted in a single lawsuit so far. Michael and Chastity Warren, parents of one of the deceased children, filed the suit in Palm Beach County. More lawsuits are expected in the coming days. Their attorney Joseph Fried made a statement to preempt expected criticism and commentary, suggesting that lodging the lawsuit before any of the victims’ funerals was not disrespectful or “over-litigious” under the circumstances. When commercial drivers are involved in this kind of tragic accident, the companies for which they work will hire a legal team right away. According to Fried, it’s important that everyone else involved do the same.
Fried intends to investigate the tractor trailers involved in the accident, and expects to procure the driving records of all those involved as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, the case may be delayed because of the recent partial government shutdown. The National Transportation Safety Bureau did not have the resources to conduct an immediate investigation. In addition, FHP investigators were called in to start gathering the information needed to decide whether or not the case warrants a vehicular homicide classification.
The suit was lodged against two individuals, one of them the driver of one of the tractor trailers, who were killed in the accident. Another driver named in the lawsuit was gravely injured, but survived. In addition to these individuals, the employers of the two tractor-trailer drivers were also named as defendants in the case.
Fried explained that the case isn’t just about physical damage done to people and property, but the continued psychological trauma and anguish that will be felt by everyone involved in the accident for the rest of their lives. “Some 50 years from now, a girl…may be sitting at home and something will remind her of her classmate who was lost in this tragedy,” he said.