GSU crash victim’s family slams trucking company with lawsuit
Family accuses company of negligence in incident that killed five co-eds
SAVANNAH — A family of one of the five Georgia Southern co-eds killed in a Bryan County crash on April 22 has decided to go to court.
The mother of 21-year-old Abbie Deloach has filed a lawsuit against Total Transportation, a trucking company based out of Jackson, Miss. and US Xpress Enterprises, a trucking company based out of Nashville.
An investigation by Atlanta media showed that the companies have a checkered safety record.
The Georgia State Patrol has said the April 22 crash on Interstate 16 appears to have been caused by a tractor-trailer that smashed into stop-and-go traffic slowed by an unrelated wreck. Ms. Deloach and four fellow co-eds, all of whom were nursing majors from Georgia Southern University, perished.
Total Transportation CEO John Stomps did not immediately return a phone message Thursday.
The Deloach family does have an uphill battle due to state and federal laws that shield vehicle manufacturers from most lawsuits involving fatalities.
Midlands Tech deputy, professor arrested for sexual assault, indecent exposure
WEST COLUMBIA — A Midlands Technical College campus deputy and professor is out of both jobs after he was arrested for assaulting a woman.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division says Columbia deputies arrested Charles Riley, 48, on charges of sexual assault and battery and indecent exposure. He was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
According to the arrest warrant, Deputy Riley is accused of sexually assaulting a co-ed in his academic office at the MTC South Beltline Campus, located in Columbia, on April 20. The warrant says Deputy Riley showed the woman his private parts. She told investigators Deputy Riley was her class instructor.
South Carolina state law forbids sexual relations between professors and students at institutions of higher education under an extremely broad “position of authority” clause in its state statute.
The arrest warrant also says Riley “admitted to the offense.”
Midlands Technical College and the Columbia Police Office requested SLED’s investigation.
“Mr. Riley served as a law enforcement officer and adjunct faculty at Midlands Technical College,” said spokesperson Todd Gavin. “Midlands Technical College is committed to the safety of our students and employees.”
Deputy Riley was a SLED agent from October, 1999 until he resigned in April, 2006, according to a spokesman for the agency.