Four people died and four suffered injuries in a chain reaction crash involving five vehicles in Haywood County, near Jackson. The June 25 accident happened on Interstate 40 in traffic that had slowed down due to an earlier accident in the area.
According to reports, the fatal accident began in the westbound lanes of I-40 when a freight truck rear-ended a Lexus driven by a Staten Island, New York, woman. The impact caused the Lexus to crash into the rear of a tractor-trailer, which in turn crashed into the tractor-trailer ahead of it. The freight truck also crashed into another vehicle during the accident. Four of the five vehicles involved caught fire because of the collision.
The New York woman and her passenger, a Massachusetts resident, died in the accident, as were two other people. The Tennessee Highway Patrol reported that speed had played a role in the accident but also that they did not immediately issue any criminal charges or citations. As in similar fatal accidents, victims might choose to file claims once liability can be established.
Because police believe that speed played a role in the accident, the families of the occupants of the Lexus might consider filing wrongful death claims if it can be shown the that driver of the freight truck was negligent while driving. In these types of cases in Tennessee, a successful claim might mean that the family could receive compensation for the funeral and burial costs that they incurred and for the loss of support and services from the decedent.
Source: SILive, “Staten Island woman killed in Tennessee crash, report says“, Maura Grunlund, July 02, 2014