Robert P. Christensen, P.A.
Kelli Groves and her family have filed a lawsuit against the trucking company and the estate of the driver who rear-ended her car on Highway 101, a year ago. In January of 2012, Groves and her two daughters Sage and Mylo were travelling northbound on the highway in a sedan when the 18-wheeler rig hit them. The impact resulted in the car dangling from the guardrail of a bridge with the three passengers trapped inside. The empty gravel truck driven by Charles Allison Jr. went over the bridge and burst into flames killing him.
The dramatic rescue of the mother and her daughters dominated headlines across the country for many days and was termed nothing short of a miracle. Navy Seabees and a team of experienced fire captains who happened to be in the vicinity at the time of the accident had rushed to assist. Their timely involvement and action is considered to have been crucial in saving the three.
A Dark History
Investigators later confirmed that Allison was a habitual drug user and at the time of the accident was high on methamphetamine. A closer look into Allison’s history has revealed that he had been in trouble with the law many times in the past two decades for drug possession and driving under the influence. The Groves and their lawyers want the trucking company—R&R Wrecking Company—held responsible for its negligence in maintaining and operating the truck as well as hiring Allison as a driver despite his obvious addiction. This company apparently hired either a little too quickly or did not put in the necessary time to determine who exactly they were hiring. Either way it was the wrong decision to make.
Allison’s driving the rig while under the influence of drugs has been termed “willful, deliberate, intentional, reckless, and despicable”. It is shocking that someone with the kind of record that Allison had, had been hired and was permitted to drive a vehicle “capable of so much harm to others”.
A Terrible Ordeal
The lawsuit, which lists Groves, her husband Jason and daughters, seeks no specific amount as damages. But it does claim that Groves and her two children suffered severe injuries which are permanent and went through a traumatic time. It also states that Groves was unable to return to her teaching job as a result of the accident. Groves and her elder daughter had suffered pelvic injuries amongst others. The latter still has to undergo surgery to remove glass that is being expelled from her tissue.
No Real Defense
Compensation has been sought for medical expenses, court costs, and emotional damages. The family has indicated that they would prefer a trial by jury. The trucking company has refused to comment on the matter except to say that the matter is being handled by their attorneys. This case is bound to throw the spotlight on a host of issues including lack of adequate big rig safety and corporate neglect in addition to driver fault.