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$62.7M Truck Accident Lawsuit Settled

A truck accident lawsuit initiated by the families of 10 people that were killed after a tractor-trailer slammed into a line of stopped vehicles was recently settled for an estimated $62.7 million dollars. This settlement stems from a suit filed by the families of eight of the victims from 2009 in Cleveland County and was reached on Wednesday. An out-of-court settlement was reached earlier on behalf of the other two victims for undisclosed amounts.

According to news reports, "defendants [in the case] were truck driver Donald Creed, 77, of Willard, Mo., the truck's operator, Kansas City, Kan.-based Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., two insurance companies, a California company and two individuals, who were involved in the collision causing the original traffic slowdown."

The fatal truck accident occurred on June 26, 2009, when "Creed was driving the rig for Associated Wholesale Grocers at five miles below the 75-mph speed limit when he hit at least three cars stopped for that accident, which then crashed into other vehicles." Prior to the truck accident, traffic on I-44 had backed up after the previous collision on the turnpike. Investigators concluded Creed's inattention caused the wreck and found no evidence he tried to brake or take evasive action before the collision. Driver fatigue was cited by the National Transportation Safety Board as the reason for the collision."

Back in August, Creed pleaded guilty to 10 counts of negligent homicide, a misdemeanor, under a plea agreement. As a result, he was sentenced to a year of probation on each count, served 30 days in a county jail, must use an electronic monitoring device in the first year of probation and is barred from obtaining a commercial driver's license.

Source: Tulsa World "I-44 wreck lawsuit settled" 10/08/2010

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