On January 12, 2012, 36-year-old Kelli Groves and her two daughters, 10-year-old daughter Sage and 10-week-old Mylo, were driving along the Highway 101 bridge just south of Buellton, California, when their BMW was struck by an oncoming truck, driven by Charles Allison Jr., 48. The BMW was curshed into the guardrail and left teetering over the bridge.
The truck went over the guardrail and fell 100 feet to the ground, then burst into flames, killing Allison.
News of the wreck made headlines across the country. A group of Navy Seabees, who were stuck in traffic from the accident, ran to aid Groves and her children. The Seabees were transporting a forklift and used it to anchor the BMW and keep it from falling over the side of the bridge.
Once the victims were cleared from the wreckage, Groves and her 10-year-old daughter had to be airlifted to the hospital. They were both sustained serious injuries, including pelvic fractures. The 10-week-old infant suffered minor injuries.
Toxicology results showed Allison had methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system at the time of the crash, the Lompoc Record reported.
On January 10, 2013, the Groves filed a suit against the carrier, R and R Auto Wrecking Inc. of Arroyo Grande, that employed Allison.
“Sadly, the driver of the big rig involved in this collision had a long history of drug and illegal substance abuse. He had several run-ins with the law for drug possession and driving under the influence. It is shocking that a trucking company would even hire and allow someone suffering from such addiction problems to drive a vehicle capable of so much harm to others,” Attorneys for the Groves said.
“It’s unfortunate that [the lawsuit] Michael Penn, Grove’s attorney, told Noozhawk. “The driver had a local criminal record of substance abuse going back two decades. It’s a very long rap sheet.
“For a trucking company to jeopardize public safety like that is inexcusable.”
Drivers, what do you think of this case? Is a person’s past behavior be the best predictor of their future behavior? What could this case mean for former addicts who have managed to stay clean for several years? How long should a person have to be clean from drugs before he or she should be given a second chance, or should they ever be?Read more about this story.