A motorist who was one of several people injured in a deadly 2018 pileup in Pennsylvania caused by a drunken tractor-trailer driver has filed a lawsuit against the trucker, his employer, and several engineers involved in a highway construction project.

Paul Potts, a resident of Middletown, Penn., filed a lawsuit in Dauphin County Court, seeking compensation for multiple serious injuries he sustained in the crash, including damage to his spine and neck.

The complaint stems from an Oct. 12, 2018, collision that occurred when a tractor-trailer driven by 29-year-old Jack Satterfield III of Mississippi plowed into a line of traffic in a construction zone. The collision occurred in the northbound lanes of I-83 in Harrisburg.

Mr. Satterfield, who was drunk at the time, collided with the traffic in the construction zone at full speed without braking. His tractor-trailer set off a chain of collisions involving 12 vehicles. The crashes killed 24-year-old Zachary Lybrand and his 16-month-old daughter Elliana, both of whom were burned beyond recognition. Ethan Van Bochoven, a 22-year-old music major who attended Messiah College, was also killed in a separate vehicle.

Mr. Satterfield pleaded guilty in June 2019 to multiple charges, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and leaving an accident scene. He is serving a prison term of 28.5-63 years.

In his lawsuit, Mr. Potts also blames Mr. Satterfield’s employer, Greentree Logistics Inc. of Minnesota, the construction firm managing the highway project, three engineers, and the company that oversaw traffic control. He alleges the companies involved in the project failed to adequately warn motorists of the construction zone or provide a safe flow of traffic through it.

According to Penn Live, Mr. Satterfield had been arrested on drug charges and for disorderly conduct eight months before the deadly Pennsylvania crash.

Pennsylvania State Police investigating the crash traced Mr. Satterfield’s route in the hours before the crash through New Jersey, where he stopped at a restaurant and consumed five double-shot margaritas and three beers before driving his tractor-trailer through Pennsylvania.

The widow of Mr. Lybrand and mother of Elliana filed a similar lawsuit in a Philadelphia County Court nearly two years ago.

Truck accident litigation

Truck accidents are complicated scenes often involving a number of factors. When investigating a claim related to an 18-wheeler or other heavy truck accident, it is imperative to have knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, technology, business practices, insurance coverages, and to have the ability to discover written and electronic records. Expert testimony is of utmost importance. Accidents involving semi-trucks and passenger vehicles often result in serious injuries and wrongful death. Trucking companies and their insurance companies almost always quickly send accident investigators to the scene of a truck accident to begin working to limit their liability in these situations. Our lawyers, staff and in-house accident investigators immediately begin the important task of documenting and preserving the evidence.

Truck accident lawyers in Beasley Allen’s Montgomery and Atlanta offices have experience in handling these types of claims. For more information, contact Chris Glover, Mike Crow, Donovan Potter or Parker Miller. They would be happy to provide more information or work with you on a claim.

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