Man sues after losing family in car wreck

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

Only on 12...a widower plans to sue after losing his family in a car crash.

John Branton's wife Patricia and his stepson Lonnie Turner lost their lives, along with Turner's unborn son.

Branton's attorney Richard Ingram filed the lawsuit this afternoon in Columbia County. It says driver Tiara Smith and Nebula, also known as Denise, McNeely contributed to the three deaths.

The crash happened earlier this month at the intersection of Bobby Jones Expressway and Washington Road.

Officers say the women stole clothes from Marshall's department store. They then tried to get away in a black Ford Explorer, which led to the multiple-car pileup.

Ingram says that negligence is causing John Branton a lot of pain, and the lawsuit will ask for emotional and financial compensation.

"We don't know what's going to come out of it," Ingram says. "We just want to put it in the hands of a Columbia County jury and let them decide civilly for these two defendants and what they did."

They have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. Smith faces charges of vehicular homicide, causing the death of an unborn child, and multiple traffic offenses. McNeely faces shoplifting charges. They may appear before a grand jury to be formally indicted later on.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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