The family of a young mother who was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while checking on her baby after pulling onto the side of a Connecticut highway alleges the truck driver was negligent and reckless in a newly filed lawsuit.
Ashley Ferguson Jones, 31, pulled her Kia Optima fully into the breakdown lane of I-95 in Old Lyme, Connecticut on Dec. 1, 2016, to check on her daughter in the back seat, who was coughing and potentially choking on food. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Jones was leaning into the back seat through the rear driver’s side rear door when a tractor-trailer struck her at a high rate of speed.
The horrific impact sent Ms. Jones “70 feet into the air and ripped one of her legs from her body,” the lawsuit alleges, adding that she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The tractor-trailer, driven by Nicolae Marcu for MGR Freight Systems Inc., continued along the highway for about 82 yards before striking a guardrail and plowing into some trees. Mr. Marcu, a Bedford New Hampshire resident, was uninjured but his tractor-trailer was heavily damaged.
The lawsuit, filed by Ms. Jones’ husband Marshall Jones and her two children, claims Mr. Marcu drove “recklessly and negligently by failing to move into the left lane while passing a vehicle parked in the breakdown lane.”
The complaint also accuses him of “failing to keep a safe distance from other vehicles, speeding, driving while fatigued, sending or receiving text messages while driving and operating a vehicle with unsafe tires and brakes.”
Mr. Marcu also faces criminal charges in connection to the crash, including negligent homicide and failure to drive in the proper lane.
In addition to the trucking firm MGR Freight systems, the lawsuit names a number of other defendants involved with the ownership, leasing, and maintenance of the tractor-trailer driven by Mr. Marcu. Ms. Jones’ family is seeking at least $30 million in damages.