Home Vehicle Accidents Lawsuit filed over crash that killed 5 people

Lawsuit filed over crash that killed 5 people

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GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found a lawsuit now filed over a crash caught on camera that left five people dead in a van carrying developmentally disabled passengers.

Investigators blame the crash on the driver of the van, saying he had drugs in his system.

The lawsuit blames his bosses, aiming at getting justice for families of two victims.

The crash happened last year in Geauga County.

Attorney Eric W. Henry said in a statement, “The tragic events of November 22 have devastated many families and shocked the community. My clients are committed to pursue justice on behalf of their families and will seek thorough discovery into how this incident was allowed to occur.”

Last week, the I-Team revealed video showing how the crash happened.

A van swerved into the wrong lane and slammed head-on into a semi-truck. A camera on board the truck captured the video.

Investigators say the results of an autopsy now show the van driver, Darryl Barnes, had drugs in his system including cocaine, marijuana and anti-depressants.

Barnes drove for an agency called Solutions At Work that helps developmentally disabled people.

The crash killed the van driver and four passengers, and it left others critically hurt.

The suit says, “Solutions At Work knew, or should have known, that Darryl Barnes was an incompetent, reckless, and unsafe driver.”

It also says, “the agency was negligent in hiring and/or retaining” that driver.

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the family of one victim who died and one survivor, Carlos Hemphill.

Last week, his mother spoke out to the I-Team, saying, “I’m afraid that it will never make sense to me. It makes you uncomfortable to allow your children to be entrusted to anyone.”

 A spokesperson for Solutions At Work said the agency “cannot comment on pending legal matters.”

We’ll watch for the response filed in court.

Meanwhile, last week, the agency said it will continue to review hiring policies to ensure the safety of everyone.



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