Trucker, company indicted in case of Georgia Southern nursing students killed in crash

Published: Jun. 15, 2016 at 4:29 PM EDT
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BRYAN CO., GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A trucker and trucking company involved in a deadly interstate crash that claimed the lives five Georgia Southern nursing students have been indicted on multiple charges.

The indictment was handed down Wednesday by a Bryan County grand jury. All families of the students previously settled their wrongful death lawsuits.

John Wayne Johnson and Total Transportation were indicted on more than a dozen and a half counts, including vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

The crash happened April 22, 2015, as the students drove to Savannah for their last day of clinical rotations. Along I-16 a tractor-trailer ran into the back of the young women’s vehicles at 68 mph without hitting the brakes. The tractor trailer was from Total Transportation of Mississippi. The rig hit one of the nursing student's cars, which then hit another one.

Two others were also injured.

The victims were Emily Clark, of Powder Springs, GA, Morgan Bass, of Leesburg, GA, Abbie Deloach, of Savannah, GA, Catherine (McKay) Pittman, of Alpharetta, GA, and Caitlyn Baggett, of Millen, GA. All were juniors in the program.

Brittney McDaniel of Reidsville, GA, and Megan Richards of Loganville, GA, were also injured during the crash.

Johnson has been charged with five counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, reckless driving, serious injury by vehicle, failure to exercise due care and following too closely.

Total Transportation has been charged with criminal responsibility of corporations, five counts homicide by vehicle in the first degree, and serious injury by vehicle.