A survivor of an April 2015 truck crash that killed five nursing students from Georgia Southern University and led to calls for mandatory collision avoidance systems has been awarded $15 million in a civil suit, according to an AJC.com report.
The nursing students were caught up in a seven-vehicle crash on Interstate 16 in Georgia when a truck driver for Total Transportation of Mississippi failed to stop when traffic slowed.
Total Transportation and its parent company, U.S. Express, are ordered to pay the $15 million to survivor Megan Richards. Richards told jurors that as a result of the crash, she still suffers from traumatic brain injury.
While the District Attorney General of the Georgia Atlantic Judicial Circuit decided not to pursue criminal charges against the company, Total Transportation of Mississippi has already settled wrongful death lawsuits related to the case, with one victim receiving $14 million. The driver, John Wayne Johnson, was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of first-degree vehicular homicide.
Through civil suit depositions, it was revealed that Johnson was hired by Total Transportation of Mississippi despite disclosing to the company that he had been fired from a previous job for falling asleep at the wheel.
While Johnson admitted fault for the crash, he insisted that he was awake.