Skip to Content

13-Year-Old Janaria James Dies after 18-Wheeler Failed to Stop

Sun Mar 7, 2021 | By: Law Firm of Walter Gabriel | Articles |

Janaria James, a beautiful 13-year-old girl with a life full of promise, tragically died in a 16-vehicle crash on February 23, 2021.

The multi-vehicle crash happened in the eastbound lanes of Highway 190 on the old Mississippi Bridge in Baton Rouge around 8:30 Tuesday morning. The Troop A division of Louisiana State Police say they received calls of a crash involving a pile-up of cars and trucks after the driver of an 18-wheeler failed to stop. Police identified the driver of the 18-wheeler as 42-year-old Marlin Jordan of Addis, Louisiana. A preliminary investigation revealed Jordan was driving a 2007 Kenworth tractor trailer at the time of the crash. For unknown reasons, Jordan failed to stop ahead of backed up traffic. The tractor trailer slammed into multiple vehicles, setting off a chain reaction of crashes that caused a massive pile up.

The Witnesses

Witnesses at the scene say they tried to help Janaria James after the crash. Janaria James was pinned underneath the tire of the semi-truck that crashed into the back of her family’s car. Tragically, the Plaquemine teen died from injuries she suffered in the accident. One day after her sudden passing, hundreds of people who loved the little girl with a bright smile gathered for a vigil and balloon release at White Castle Community Center. Janaria James, whose nickname was “Sunshine,” will forever be loved and remembered.

The Investigation

A spokesperson from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) says the government agency is looking into the number of crashes that have happened along that stretch of Highway 190 near the old Mississippi River Bridge, and the agency will decide if they need to implement any kind of safety measures. Archie Trahan, who witnessed the crash, believes there’s an absolute need for increased safety measures. Trahan told a local Baton Rouge news station, “I do think we need some kind of warning system on this bridge, because there’s plenty of places to mount it.” He added, “to say there’s a train on track, to be aware that there may be stopped traffic.” The latest deadly accident happened along Trahan’s daily commute.

He told a Baton Rouge affiliate he “looked in my rear-view mirror, seeing an 18-wheeler coming down the road, basically sideways, and another 18-wheeler hit him in the back and forced it into everybody. Trahan says he does not want to see anyone else die as a result of an outdated highway system or reckless 18-wheeler driver.

Our Condolences

The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel is heartbroken over the tragic and sudden passing of Janaria James. As Janaria’s friends and loved ones share memories of her, it became clear she brought “Sunshine” into the lives of everyone who knew her. As a dedicated wrongful death lawyer, Walter Gabriel goes after careless 18-wheeler truck drivers who cause serious or deadly crashes. The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel knows all too well, many of these accidents are avoidable. Often times, the drivers of these 18-wheelers cause crashes due to reckless driving, and they walk away unscathed.

Tragically, the victim’s families are left with unimaginable grief.

The true victim in this crash was Janaria James. She was an innocent child with a bright smile who cared for her classmates and loved her family. The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel prays Janaria James’ family receives the justice they truly deserve. Justice for Janaria James means several things:

  1. A full investigation into the exact cause of the crash
  2. The driver of the 18-wheeler faces justice (whether criminal, civil or both)
  3. Improved safety measures on Louisiana’s highways and interstates
  4. The family of Janaria James seeks legal representation to sue the trucking company who employed the driver who caused the crash.

THE FAMILIES’ RIGHTS

Beloved Remembered

Families pursuing their claims against at-fault parties may recover losses. This includes reimbursement for burial expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. Attorney Walter Gabriel continues to pray for family who are grieving the tragic and untimely loss of Janaria James. We extend our deepest condolences to all those who loved and cared for her.  Baton Rouge Louisiana personal injury attorney Walter Gabriel represents victims injured or killed in big truck crashes around the country.

The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel understands the devastating impact tractor trailer accidents have on victims and their families. Tractor trailer crashes happen far too often. Make no mistake, insurance companies provide substantial coverage for big truck accidents. That usually means two things: (1) these big insurance companies often attempt to deny liability, and (2) these same big insurance companies are well positioned financially to pay millions of dollars to the victims of these crashes. In order for victims to stand up to these big insurance companies, they need excellent legal representation.

You need The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel.

Louisiana tractor trailer crash attorney Walter Gabriel fights big truck insurance companies to get his clients the compensation they deserve.

Reduced Contingency Fee

If your family member was killed due to the negligence of a tractor-trailer driver, we offer a reduced contingency fee. For any individual who retains the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel under this circumstance, we offer a contingency fee of 20% of the gross amount that we recover for any wrongful death trucking case that settles before a lawsuit is filed. If we file a lawsuit, our contingency fee is only 30% of the gross amount that we recover for you. We are able to provide a reduced contingency fee because we are confident that we will maximize your recovery for your family’s wrongful death claim against a big truck company. We are very aware of the substantial gap in what a party may recover in a trucking wrongful death claim.

Louisiana Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer

Tractor trailers and 18-wheelers cause countless accidents and deaths. These massive commercial vehicles pose grave danger, in large part, because of their size. The average passenger vehicle weighs around 2.5 tons. Compare that to a big truck which can weigh up to 30 tons — and take longer to complete a stop. This puts other drivers at risk. The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel represents people who’ve sustained injury or death in big truck accidents in the Baton Rouge area. Louisiana tractor trailer accident lawyer Walter Gabriel also represents victims of big truck accidents in other parts of Louisiana and in Georgia.

Big truck accidents often involve commercial vehicles where the driver is an employee acting within the course and scope of employment. Depending on the circumstances, you may sue and recover damages from the employer pursuant to various theories of liability.

When the injured party establishes something called “vicarious liability,” the accident victim may receive substantially more money in compensation. The company owning the truck often has several millions of dollars worth of liability insurance coverage.

Contact the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC for a Free and Confidential Consultation with a Louisiana Big Truck Accident Lawyer

The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC is a personal injury firm with extensive experience handling big truck accidents in Louisiana and metro Atlanta, including those that involve “big trucks” category vehicles — 18-wheelers, vans, buses, and other large vehicles. Successfully litigating such disputes requires a deep understanding of what contributed to or otherwise influenced the accident. We closely collaborate with our clients and take the time to learn about their goals and concerns. This informational advantage enables us to act swiftly and decisively when opportunities arise in litigation. Attorney Walter Gabriel practices law in both Georgia and Louisiana.

However, lawyers often litigate trucking cases in federal courts. And the question of which state should have jurisdiction often arises in cases where commercial motor vehicles as defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are common in trucking cases. For this reason, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation for your trucking case. This is even if the collision occurred outside of Georgia and Louisiana.

To find out if you have a case, call 318-445-2121 to speak directly with Attorney Walter Gabriel.

You can also submit a case evaluation form online. Contact us today for a free consultation with a skilled Louisiana big truck accident lawyer.

You PAY NOTHING, unless YOU WIN.