Second lawsuit filed against truck driver, company in fatal June - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Second lawsuit filed against truck driver, company in fatal June crash

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A second victim in the Interstate 75 crash has filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and his trucking company, Cool Runnings Express, Inc, based out of London, KY.

The $14.75 million lawsuit was filed by Chattanooga attorney C. Mark Warren on behalf of his client, Justin Knox and his wife, Nomiki Knox.

The crash on June 25 claimed the lives of six people, and injured six others when a truck driven by Benjamin Brewer failed to slow and stop in a construction zone on I-75 near the Ooltewah exit.

On the previous day, Brewer was involved in a crash near Wildwood, FL and charged with careless driving. No injuries were reported in the Florida crash.

The lawsuit also cites the use of methamphetamine by Brewer, which Channel 3 reported Tuesday.

He had been on duty for 50 consecutive hours, according to the NTSB preliminary report released Monday.

That put him in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations hours-of-service when the crash occurred. 

Brewer was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury, charged with six counts vehicular homicide by impairment and other charges from the crash.

The lawsuit alleges Cool Runnings Express, owned by Billy and Cretty Sizemore, failed to use reasonable and due care in hiring Brewer.

The lawsuit also says that the company failed to perform an adequate drug test as required by federal law. They also failed to perform and drug and alcohol on Brewer after the Florida crash that preceded the fatal Tennessee crash.

The lawsuit is moving for an injunction to be issued that would suspend the business operations for Cool Runnings Express until a hearing could be held to determine the criminal history and safety records for the company’s current drivers.

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