Additional Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed in Deadly Knoxville School Bus Crash
In a follow up to a tragic accident last year, two additional lawsuits have been filed related to the deadly Knoxville school bus crash that tragically took the lives of two children and a teacher’s aide. The crash occurred on December 2, 2014, when a school bus driven by James Davenport suddenly crossed over the concrete median of the Asheville Highway and struck another school bus, driven by Joe Gallman. The crash killed two students – seven-year-old Seraya Glasper and six-year-old Zykia Burns – as well as 46-year-old teacher’s aide Kimberly Riddle, who were among the more than twenty individuals riding in Mr. Gallman’s bus on their way back from Sunnyview Primary School.
Police investigating the accident later revealed that the cause of the crash was Mr. Davenport’s distracted driving and the speed of the bus at the time of the accident. Officials determined that Mr. Davenport had been sending and receiving multiple text messages leading up to the accident, all while transporting twenty-two children on his bus. In addition, police determined that Mr. Davenport was driving 57 mph in a 40 mph zone at the time of the crash.
However, the Knox County District Attorney’s Office has announced that there will be no criminal charges filed against Mr. Davenport in this case, as the bus driver died of natural causes before the end of the police investigation into the crash.
Wrongful Death Actions Survive the Death of Either Party
When a loved one has been killed in an accident, Tennessee law gives the deceased individual’s spouse, parents, children, or other dependents (depending on the circumstances) the right to collect financial compensation for their loved one’s death. Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-5-102, that right to compensation is not removed by the death of the injured loved one.
Nor does the right to compensation for wrongful death go away in the case of the death of the party responsible for the accident. Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-5-103 provides that a cause of action survives when a person who has committed a “tortious or wrongful act” that causes injury or death to another dies before a lawsuit to recover damages has commenced. In that situation, the injured party (or their representative) can file suit against the personal representative of the deceased individual who caused the wrongful death of the injured party.
Call a Tennessee Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one because of the negligent act of another person, you may have a claim for wrongful death compensation. Contact the experienced Nashville personal injury attorneys at Calhoun Law, PLC today for a free and private consultation of your claims. Wrongful death claims may allow you to collect compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering of the victim, loss of companionship, and lost future wages. We will work with you to investigate your claim, identify all responsible parties, and pursue the full compensation to which you are entitled. Reach out to us today to discuss your case and we will begin working immediately.