On the evening of Sept. 16, 2011, Pamela Beemer, 46, and two other women were travelling west on U.S. 20 when a semitrailer, travelling east, veered off the center line and came in the path of their car. The car crashed into the semitrailer and subsequently collided with an escort vehicle. Beemer was killed in the accident, along with her fellow passengers Maxine Sailor, 87, and Virginia Miller, 85.
Following the accident, Beemer’s husband Robert Burg filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that the semitrailer and escort vehicles violated the state law by travelling on the road after sunset, without police escort. The lawsuit also claims that the truck was transporting an oversized section of a wind tower even though the driver had no experience of hauling oversized loads.
The parties reached a settlement, according to which the trucking company and driver will pay $1.75 million to Burg. Furthermore, the shipper and operators of the front escort vehicle will pay $1 million each, the operators of 2 rear escort vehicles will be liable to pay $965,000 while the owner of semitrailer will pay $175,000.
The settlement was approved by a judge of Elkhart Circuit Court on February 17.