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Fiery truck crash kills great-grandmother in Virginia

On I-95 in Virginia on December 1, a woman was killed when her Honda SUV was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer in a six-vehicle crash, and was wedged beneath the truck when it ignited. Kamala St. Germain, 75, was the founder of DoveStar, a massage and alternative healing school with locations in several states.

Ironically, before I read of the crash in the media, an eyewitness to the crash contacted me with the following observation:

Witnessed horrific accident I-95 Virginia December 1. One car completely destroyed by fire, a tanker, several cars overturned and one actually split in half.

None of the media accounts I have seen identified the trucking company or touched on the causes of the crash. While it is dangerous to jump to conclusions, usually when we dig into these types of incidents, we find that the truck driver was severely fatigued, taking prescription or over the counter medications that affected his attentiveness, going too fast for conditions, or some combination of the three.

A seasoned Georgia trial lawyer focused on interstate motor carrier liability litigation, Ken Shigley served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute, co-sponsored by the Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina Trial Lawyers Associations. His practice includes catastrophic and wrongful death cases arising from tractor trailer, big rig, 18 wheeler, dump truck, straight truck, log truck, concrete mixer truck, bus, motor coach, and similar types of truck and bus crashes. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Atlanta Magazine and one of Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine. Shigley is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and a frequent national seminar speaker on interstate trucking litigation for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America and the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. He is Master of the Lamar Inn of Court at Emory Law School, served a decade as a faculty member of the Emory University Law School Trial Techniques Program. Currently he serves as Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.