Truck driver seeks damages for watching man die in crash, sues deceased man's family

Kelly Holleran Nov. 16, 2012, 12:25pm

A Louisiana man who allegedly watched a man die after the man rear-ended his tractor-trailer has filed suit against the man’s relatives. 

Adrian and Rita Johnson filed a lawsuit Nov. 8 in Jefferson County District Court against the heirs of Joshua Dale Melder.

In their complaint, the Johnsons allege Adrian Johnson drove his 2007 International truck-trailer on U.S. Highway 69 on Nov. 8, 2010, when Melder, who drove a 2009 Nissan Sentra, suddenly collided with the back of his vehicle.

“After the accident, plaintiff Adrian Johnson attempted to rescue defendant Joshua Dale Melder from his vehicle and witnessed Joshua Dale Melder perish while waiting for emergency medical service to arrive,” the suit states.

Because of the collision, Adrian Johnson suffered physical pain and mental anguish, endured mental impairment and incurred medical costs, the complaint says. He also claims he lost wages.

The Johnsons blame Melder for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to control his speed, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to timely apply his brakes and failed to take evasive action.

In their complaint, the Johnsons are seeking economic and non-economic damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Benjamin D. James of Marksville, La., will be representing them.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B193-577

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