Tractor Trailer Accident - $3,500,000.00

Alphonia Jackson, as surviving spouse of Tina Michelle Jackson and
as surviving parent of Keshay Marie Jackson
Interstate Distributor Co., Donald Lewis Smith and Westport Insurance Corporation

Twiggs County Superior Court
Civil Action File No.: 2001-V-225S

Liability Facts: On July 15, 2000 Tina Jackson, age 27, was driving a 1991 Mercury Cougar westbound on Interstate -16 with four passengers in her vehicle, one of which was her daughter, three year old Keshay Jackson. They had left Dublin, Georgia where they lived heading towards Macon to go to a shopping mall when the car started to overheat. They pulled off at the next exit at a gas station and put water in the radiator, refusing assistance from a tow truck operator and decided to turn around heading eastbound on Interstate - 16 going back towards Dublin driving over 40 mph in the slow lane. At that time they were approached from the rear by a tractor trailer vehicle being driven by Donald Lewis Smith, which was owned by Interstate Distributor Co., and due to the speed difference between the vehicles, the tractor trailer truck tapped the Jackson vehicle in the rear, sending the car into a slow spin causing it to cross over the eastbound lanes, traveling over the grass median, and upon entering the westbound lane was instantly struck by a tractor trailer truck which was traveling westbound on Interstate - 16. Both accident reconstruction experts hired by the Plaintiff's and the Defendant's placed the speed of the Jackson vehicle at approximately 52 mph and the speed of the tractor trailer driven by Donald Lewis Smith at approximately 69 mph at the time when the two vehicles initially made contact. Plaintiffs contended that defendant Donald Lewis Smith prior to and at the time of impact was operating his tractor trailer rig in a careless, reckless and unsafe manner, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to keep his tractor trailer under control and failed to allow proper distance between his tractor trailer and the vehicle ahead of him in violation of O.C.G.A. Section 40-6-49. The case proceeded to trial on the two wrongful death claims of Tina Jackson and Keshay Jackson and settled on the second day of trial after the Plaintiff's expert economist testified via video deposition. This is a record settlement for Twiggs County.

Injury: The collision killed Tina Jackson, Keshay Jackson and two of the other passengers, critically injuring the fourth passenger who was the only surviving person in the Jackson vehicle.

Experts: Plaintiff's: accident reconstruction expert was Julian "Bucky" Beaver
expert economist was William Francis Rushing
Defendant's: accident reconstruction expert was Thomas Vadnais

Medical expenses: none

Settlement: $2,325,000.00

Attorneys: Plaintiff's: Robert A. Falanga, Falanga & Chalker andW. McMillan Walker
Post Office Box 730, Dublin, Georgia 31040
Defendant's: D. Gary Lovell, Jr. and Boyd B. Newton;
Carlock, Copeland, Semler & Stair
Post Office Box 56887, Atlanta, Georgia 30343

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