Police say the accident happened around 8:40 in the morning on Tuesday May 21st. Witnesses said that the bus and the cement truck collided after the cement truck driver lost control while merging into a southbound lane from South Parkway. Even more tragically, the force of the collision threw the driver out of the front windshield of the bus where she then became stuck. Sanders was dragged underneath the bus and never had time to get away.
Police say they believe Sanders was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident but that the force of the collision with the heavy cement truck was enough to cause her to be ejected from the bus. The driver of the cement truck was taken to a local Memphis hospital where police say he remains in critical condition.
Sanders worked for MATA since 2005 and leaves behind two sons and a grandchild. Though losing any loved one is difficult, it is especially hard when the accident comes so totally out of the blue. Sanders was relatively young and her family had no time to come to grips with her passing. Instead, the actions of another person resulted in her untimely death.
Though this traffic accident is surely difficult for Sanders’ family, the fact is Tennessee law places a time limit on when wrongful death suits can be brought after a deadly accident like this one. According to Tennessee law, family members who lose a loved one must act quickly to file a civil claim against the responsible person or company. Statutes say that victims have one year from the date of the original incident that led to the death to file a wrongful death action. It’s important to note that the time begins running from the date of the incident that led to the death, not from the date of death itself.
Beyond timing, it’s important when discussing wrongful death actions to explain who has the authority to bring such a claim. If the deceased person was married, then the surviving spouse would have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. Here, Sanders was not married so it is only her children that are entitled to bring suit against the responsible party. The law is structured so that the next of kin are the only ones permitted to file wrongful death actions which are lawsuits on behalf of the recently deceased person, suing for damages in much the same way that the victim would if he or she were still alive.
The Mississippi wrongful death attorneys at our firm understand the grief you are likely experiencing following the loss of a loved one. The caring attorneys at Stroud, Flechas & Dalton have years of experience and have successfully obtained compensation for our clients in similar situations.
Source: “MATA Driver Dead In Crash With Cement Truck On I-240,” by George Brown, published at WREG.com.