D. A. drops suit against trucking firm in nurse deaths

D. A. drops suit against trucking firm in nurse deaths

Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia prosecutor says he's dropped the criminal case against a trucking company charged in a deadly interstate crash last year that killed five nursing students.

Tom Durden is district attorney for southeast Georgia's Atlantic Judicial Circuit. He said Wednesday that he agreed to waive an indictment charging Total Transportation of Mississippi with vehicular homicide and other crimes.

Morgan Bass of Leesburg was killed, along with Catherine Pittman of Alpharetta, Emily Clark of Powder Springs, Caitlyn Baggett of Millen, and Abbie Deloach of Savannah.

Durden says the company in turn is spending $200,000 to establish a nonprofit organization that provides financial aid for nursing students. Durden called the outcome "a lot better than a fine" against the company.

Total Transportation was the employer of John Wayne Johnson, the driver of a tractor-trailer that slammed into stop-and-go traffic on Interstate 16 in April 2015. Five Georgia Southern University nursing students died.

Johnson still faces charges.

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