Justice for nursing students: trucker to serve five years

Blakeley Bartee

John Wayne Johnson, the truck driver who caused the crash on I-16 that killed five Georgia Southern University nursing students, will spend five years in prison along with five years of probation after pleading guilty on July 14, 2016.

On April 22, 2015, seven young women left Statesboro and were headed to Savannah when the tractor-trailer driver caused a deadly collision. Caitlyn Baggett, Morgan Bass, Emily Clark, Abbie DeLoach and Catherine “McKay” Pittman lost their lives in the crash. Megan Richards and Brittany McDaniel were seriously injured.

56-year-old Johnson pleaded guilty to nine counts, including five counts of vehicular homicide and counts of serious injury by vehicle and reckless driving.

While Johnson denied he was using his cell phone at the time of the crash, he admitted to using his phone to send and exchange sexually provocative messages with a woman prior to the crash.

Johnson told Bryan County Superior Court Judge, Robert Russell, he was cruising at 70 mph on the morning of the crash, and he noticed the vehicles ahead of him stopping. The judge asked why he didn’t stop.

“Sir, that’s something I’ve been wrestling with since that morning,” Johnson said.

“You can’t explain it?” the judge asked.

“No, sir,” Johnson said.

District Attorney Tom Durden dropped his case against Total Transportation in exchange for the company spending $200,000 to create an educational fund for student nurses.

Source: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/truck-driver-to-serve-5-years-for-crash-that-kille/nryLh/