The husband of a Luling woman who was killed when her vehicle ran into the back of a stalled garbage truck on the Hale Boggs Bridge in 2009 is suing the garbage truck driver, Ramelli Waste and Scottsdale Insurance Company for damages.
The garbage truck, driven by Knollie Jones, allegedly ran out of gas in the right lane of Interstate 310 as it approached the bridge. Misty Carroll, 38, was behind three other vehicles in the right lane when the first three cars switched to the left lane, revealing the Mack truck. Carroll immediately applied her brakes, but was unable to stop her 2001 Honda CRV from colliding with the garbage truck, according to the Louisiana State Police.
Carroll was killed as a result of the accident, but her daughter, who was six at the time, escaped injury. Neither Carroll nor her daughter were properly restrained at the time of the wreck, according to State Police.
An inspection of the dump truck, owned by Ramelli Waste, found that the gas gauge was not in proper working order, according to the accident report. Caroll’s husband, Kenneth Davis, says in the lawsuit that Jones failed to perform a pre-trip inspection to determine that he had adequate fuel, did not place out safety cones warning oncoming drivers of his stopped vehicle and did not move the truck to the emergency shoulder of the roadway despite having an opportunity to do so.
Davis also says that Ramelli Waste should have known about the defective fuel gauge but failed to maintain the truck in proper working order.
Davis is suing for wrongful death damages including property damage, medical expenses, funeral costs, the loss of love, affection, companionship, consortium and society of Misty Carroll as well as grief and shock.
A jury trial has yet to begin in the case, but requested damages are at least $1.4 million.
Carroll’s death was one of four serious accidents blamed on dump or garbage trucks on the bridge in a two-year span.
In January 2011, a man had to be extricated from his vehicle after his SUV slammed into the back of a stalled dump truck. The most recent fatality was 18-year-old Jessica Cancienne, who was a former softball star at Hahnville High School. Cancienne was killed when her 2008 Mazda Tribute ran into the back of a garbage truck on the bridge in early May 2010.
A few months before Carroll was killed, Luling resident Craig Perrier Jr. was heading to work at 5:30 a.m. when he ran into the back of a garbage truck he said was traveling between 35 to 40 miles per hour. Perrier’s vehicle was going 70 miles per hour and his truck was crushed like a can by the force of the collision. Perrier fractured his tibial plateau and broke his shoulder in the crash.
Sheriff Greg Champagne is in favor of a lower speed limit on the bridge and has written to the state Department of Transportation and Development in the past requesting that they do so.
"I think 70 miles per hour is way too fast, especially considering that I-310 north of the bridge is 60 miles per hour," he said. "There have been many accidents on the bridge due to various causes, one of which is high winds that surprise some drivers as they cross the crown."