New details about the car crash that killed five Georgia Southern University nursing school students in April reveal the driver of the truck involved in the accident may have been sexting at the time of the crash.
Bob Cheeley, an Atlanta-based attorney representing three of the deceased victims' families and a survivor, said the cause of the accident may have been uncovered in a deposition with the truck driver responsible for the crash, Rare reported on Dec. 19.
John Wayne Johnson, the driver of the semitrailer that reportedly caused the accident, admitted under oath that he was texting and receiving nude pictures from a woman on his phone right before the crash occurred. The cab of his truck was also reportedly full of pornography.
“He could have very well been either looking at porn in the cab of his truck, or looking at pictures, nude pictures, that this woman had sent of herself to him, which he admitted that she had done,” Cheeley said, according to Rare.
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The mother of one of the crash victims who attended the deposition said she felt sick upon hearing the news.
“Just hurt, just hurts so bad to know that it could have prevented and she didn’t have to die in that way,” said Karen Clark, whose daughter Emily, was killed in the accident.
The fatal crash occurred on the eastbound lane of Interstate 16 near Savannah, Georgia, around 5:45 a.m. on April 22, WSB-TV reported at the time.
Johnson reportedly failed to stop as traffic slowed down, and plowed into a line of cars in front of him. Seven vehicles, including five cars and two semitrailers, were involved in the crash.
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The five nursing school students killed in the crash had been traveling together in two SUVs. Two other students survived the accident with injuries.
Johnson's testimony was obtained in a deposition at the Mississippi headquarters of Total Transportation, the trucking company that employed the driver.
The hearing took place to gather evidence after the families of three victims, as well as one of the survivors, filed a joint civil lawsuit against Johnson, Total Transportation, its parent company US Xpress, and the company's insurers in May, according to another WSB-TV article.
"The trucker didn't brake," Cheeley told WSB-TV. "He was traveling 68 miles an hour according to the black box on the trailer. He didn't make any evasive action, and the truck was equipped with a crash avoidance system."
Investigative reporters from WSB-TV found that only 10 percent of comparable trucking companies had a worse driver safety record than Total Transportation, reported Rare.