Trial to Open Over Fatal Georgia Crash Involving Big Rig

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Jan 29, 2024 8:15:00 AM


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Decatur, GA — Trial is opening Monday morning over a fatal, multi-vehicle crash involving a tractor-trailer, with Courtroom View Network streaming proceedings gavel-to-gavel. Freeman, et al. v. Ace American Insurance Co., et al., 17A62825. 

The April 2016 incident, on I-85 in Gwinnett County, north of Atlanta, began with a collision between a big rig, driven C&T Durham Trucking Company’s Randell Trice, and a Ford SUV driven by Steven Haynes, with Taliah Freeman as a passenger. That crash left the SUV disabled broadside on the highway with its lights off. Haynes and Freeman left the vehicle and were in the roadway when their SUV was hit by a minivan driven by Joaquin Nomura. That collision killed Freeman, 32, and injured Haynes’ leg. 

With parties disputing the details of the incident, including which vehicle struck the other in the initial collision, the drivers' testimony and accident reconstruction evidence promise to play central roles in the proceeding. 

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According to a pre-trial order filed in the proceeding, attorneys involved in the litigation include:

  • Cook Law Group’s Matthew Cook, Kate Cook, and George Nicholson; as well as R. Shane Lazenby, of Lazenby Law Group; and Walter Rucker, of Rucker Robertson, representing Freeman’s family.
  • Barker Law Group’s Jacques Barker, Bunch Legal’s Amber Bunch, and Christopher Law Group’s Van 
    C. Armstrong, representing Haynes. 
  • Freeman Mathis & Gary’s Marc Bardack, representing C&T Durham and its driver Trice. 
  • Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith’s Scott Huray, Andrew Eaton, and Adi Allushi, representing C&T Durham Trucking, Trice, and insurer ACE American.
  • Gardner Trial Attorneys’ Henrietta Brown, representing Nomura. 

This is the second time the case will open before a jury. Last August, trial proceedings were halted and a mistrial was ultimately declared by DeKalb County State Court judge Ana Maria Martinez, due to unexpected issues after the proceeding’s first day. 

Trial, before Judge Martinez, is expected to last roughly five days. CVN will provide gavel-to-gave coverage, live and on demand, as well as updates via its news page. 

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Topics: Freeman, et al. v. ACE Insurance Co.