HUNTINGTON – A lawsuit was filed over a crash off of Interstate 64 where a vehicle fell approximately 100 feet over a bridge and the driver of the vehicle was killed.
Dart Trucking Company, Justin Adkins, Calgon Carbon Corporation and Elizabeth A. Lewis were all named as defendants in the suit.
Jerrell L. Simmons, who was 70, was driving on Interstate 64 on April 7, according to a complaint filed Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Oneta M. Simmons, the widow of Jerrell Simmons, claims Lewis was operating a 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck and Adkins was operating a semi-tractor and trailer as an employee of Dart and was towing a trailer owned by Calgon. A vehicle owned by Pegasus Transportation was ahead of the Simmons vehicle.
Lewis lost control of her vehicle, striking the Pegasus vehicle and Jerrell Simmons lawfully slowed his vehicle when he saw the accident occur ahead of him, according to the suit.
Oneta Simmons claims sometime thereafter, Jerrell Simmons’ vehicle was hit in the rear by the semi-tractor and trailer driven by Adkins, causing Simmons’ vehicle to go off the roadway and over the I-64 bridge near Mile Marker 4 to the ground approximately 100 feet below.
Jerrell Simmons died April 28, 2017, at Cabell Huntington Hospital after having spent three weeks on life support after accident.
Lewis was allegedly intoxicated when the accident occurred. She is currently facing DUI resulting in death charges in Wayne County and is waiting for a possible indictment in that case.
The defendants were negligent and caused Jerrell Simmons’ injuries, according to the suit.
Adkins was operating the semi-tractor and trailer negligently by not traveling with a safe distance between the two vehicles, was traveling at a high rate of speed and failed to maintain a proper lookout and control of his vehicle.
Calgon failed to use reasonable care in inspecting and maintaining the brakes on the trailer in which Adkins was hauling.
Oneta Simmons is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Bert Ketchum, Larry A. Bailey and Clayton J. Maddox of Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:18-cv-00058