Families of Five Children Killed in Fiery I-65 Crash Hit Trucking Companies With Lawsuit
Butler County, AL – The families of five children who died in a horrific crash along Interstate 65 earlier this summer have filed a lawsuit against the trucking companies involved.
A 16-page wrongful death lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Alabama alleges two trucking companies — Los Alamitos, CA-based Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport and Clarkston, GA-based Asmat Express — are responsible for the deaths of ten people who perished in an horrific scene which unfolded on Saturday, June 19, at approximately 2:20 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-65 near the 138 mile marker.
“The defendants, in this case, were negligent and displayed a complete disregard for the lives of fellow travelers around them,” said Greg Allen, the Lead Products Liability lawyer at Beasley Allen Law Firm, representing the families.
The lawsuit comes just days after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary findings indicating two commercial tractor-trailer drivers could face criminal charges for their roles in the 12-vehicle pileup.
Click HERE to read the details of the NTSB’s report.
The mother of two of the children who died in the crash, Candice Gulley, is named as one of the complainants.
Gulley was driving a Ford F350 transit van owned by the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch at the time of the crash.
The vehicle was occupied by nine children ranging in ages from 3 to 17 years old.
Following the crash, bystanders reportedly pulled Gulley from the fiery wreckage.
According to witnesses, she tried desperately to rescue her children, but it was too late as the flames engulfed the vehicle.
Eight girls inside the van perished in the inferno.
Additionally, 29-year-old motorist operating a 2020 Ford Explorer, Cody Fox, 29, of New Hope, TN, and his 9-month-old daughter, also died.
“As a result, 10 people died that day, including eight children who were trapped in a van driven by our client Mrs. Candice Gulley. Those children burned to death needlessly,” Allen commented.
Also named as a defendant in the case is trucker Mamuye Ayane Takelu who was behind-the-wheel of the Asmat Express rig, which struck the van.
The lawsuit alleges Takelu “failed to maintain his vehicle at a safe operating speed” and was driving “too fast for the conditions,” as it was lightly raining at the time causing slick road conditions.
Additionally, the suit contends the rig operated by Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport was not equipped with an automatic emergency braking system but should have been.
Specifically, Gulley is asking for compensatory and punitive damages to include those for emotional and mental distress as well as for injuries not limited to “severe scalp injuries, bruising, bums, pain, severe emotional and mental distress, permanent injuries and disfigurement.”
The trucking companies have yet to respond to the suit.
TransportationNation.com will follow the case.