The parents of a 9-year-old girl killed earlier this year in a tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 95 in Delaware have filed a federal lawsuit against the truck driver and the Memphis-based motor carrier.
Linda Asamoah and Patrick Owusu of Newark, Delaware, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Wilmington in mid-November against JNJ Express Inc. of Memphis and its truck driver, Brian Keith Winningham, 39, of Fairmont, North Carolina.
Court documents allege that Winningham failed to stop during rush-hour traffic on Sept. 24 and rear-ended three vehicles, including the SUV driven by Asamoah, forcing them off the road, before his 2014 Kenworth hit a guardrail and overturned.
Roselyn Adjei-Owusu died and Asamoah was permanently paralyzed in the crash, according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges that Winningham was negligent because he failed to control the speed of his vehicle or apply his brakes in a timely manner to avoid the collision. It also claims he failed to take timely or proper evasive action.
Because Winningham drove for JNJ Express, the lawsuit alleges the carrier is vicariously liable for his actions.
John Ennis Jr., vice president of JNJ Express, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment.
JNJ operates a fleet of around 400 trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website.
An occupant of another vehicle involved in the crash, Albert Frankel, 61, of Middletown, Delaware, also died.