Lawsuit filed against trucking companies, truck driver involved in deadly Butler County wreck


Some of the wreckage from a fatal multiple-vehicle crash a day earlier is loaded to be carried away, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Butler County, Ala. (Lawrence Specker/Press-Register/ via AP)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A woman involved in a deadly wreck that killed 10 people, including 8 children in a Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch van, has filed a lawsuit against two trucking companies and a truck driver.

Beasley Allen Law Firm announced the lawsuit on behalf of the driver of the van, who was seriously injured, and the families of the children who perished in the van that was involved in a horrific, fiery interstate crash in Butler County, Alabama, earlier this summer.  

“The defendants, in this case, were negligent and displayed a complete disregard for the lives of fellow travelers around them,” said Greg Allen, the Lead Products Liability lawyer at Beasley Allen Law Firm. “As a result, 10 people died that day, including eight children who were trapped in a van driven by our client Mrs. Candice L. Gulley. Those children burned to death needlessly. It is hard to imagine a more tragic and gut-wrenching set of circumstances, which demand justice and accountability to the fullest measure.” 

“This tragedy should never have happened,” says Allen. “We cannot erase or change the disastrous outcome, but we can work to provide answers that will allow a court to hold the defendants accountable for the lives they have devastated.” 

The multi-vehicle crash happened June 19, on I-65 in Butler County. 2021.

The attorneys said the driver of the Girls Ranch van carrying eight children, including two of her own, from a vacation in Gulf Shores. The van had been traveling northbound on I-65 alongside a truck trailer owned and operated by Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport.

Both vehicles were driving in front of an 18-wheeler owned and operated by Asmat Investment LLC doing business as Asmat Express.  

As the three vehicles approached a bridge on I-65 over Pigeon Creek Road, traffic north of the bridge had slowed and stopped due to a series of minor crashes.

The Hansen truck failed to stop and struck an SUV before veering into the left lane and crashing into the Girls Ranch van. The van was hit by the Asmat 18-wheeler moments later. The collisions caused a fire to break out, which engulfed the van, the 18-wheelers and other vehicles.

Bystanders pulled Gulley from the wreckage. She tried to help the children escape, but the fire and the significant damage from the crash made it impossible. All eight children died.  

Families of five of those children are suing the two trucking companies that caused the accident and wrongful conduct. The actions caused the collision and resulting fire that resulted in the death of the eight children aboard the van.  

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