Lawsuit Alleges Truck Driver Speeding and Distracted, Causing Wreck that Killed Family of Four
A Navy corpsman whose wife and three children were killed on the Buckman Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida is now suing the trucker and multiple other companies, blaming them for the tragedy that changed his life forever.
Shortly after the crash in March 2015, Dexter Culclager, who remained vigilant through the heartache, took to Facebook, posting the following message about the deadly accident to friends and family in Arkansas.
“I am being strong as I can for everyone in the family and I’m working as fast as I can to bring them home to you guys,” stated Culclager.
Authorities say Culclager’s wife and three children were killed when their SUV that had broken down on the bridge was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer. Yakel Culclager, 36, and her three children — 18-year-old Tre’Quis Woods-Sims, 17-year-old Tradesia Woods-Sims and 6-year-old Trevieon Woods-Franklin all burned to death.
Fast forward eight months later, and Culclager has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against, Judson Humphries, the trucker who authorities say hit his family. This lawsuit alleges more than a dozen different counts that lead up to the deadly crash, including that Humphries wasn’t even qualified to drive the truck.
“Anybody would want justice served and that’s all I am seeking — just to know why it happened and how it happened and what could have been done to prevent it,” Culclager told First Coast News. “Safety is key in daily living, especially on the roadways. … You have to be undivided in your attention and safe on the road. You can’t let distractions get the best of you.”
The preliminary Highway Patrol report states that Humphries “failed to slow” and operated the truck in a “careless or negligent manner.” Records show Humphries was distracted before his big rig slammed into the SUV, causing it to eventually burst into flames, killing the family inside.
“Instead of looking 15 seconds ahead and driving safely as a reasonable professional tractor-trailer driver would, Humphries chose to drive his semi while distracted, on cruise control and in a dangerous, reckless and unsafe manner,” the lawsuit states.
Humphries was not properly licensed to drive the tractor trailer after testing positive for a controlled substance, the report said. In lieu of charges, he’s be cited for a non-criminal traffic violation.
Along with Humphries and his company, Hobit Express, the lawsuit also sues Sunteck Transport Group, Sunteck Transport Co., General Motors and North Florida Lubes.
The lawsuit is expected to be heard in court in mid-2016.