Settlement reached in wrongful deaths of Georgia Southern nursing students

Attorneys announced a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuits.

STATESBORO, Ga. — Lawyers for the parents of four of the five Georgia Southern University nursing students killed in a wreck caused by a tractor-trailer said the trucker should never have been behind the wheel.

On Thursday, attorneys announced a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuits.  %

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In front of a memorial at the school for the young women who died, their parents’ lawyer said the CEO of the trucking company admitted during sworn testimony that the driver involved in the accident should never have been hired.

It has been one year since the young women walked the grounds of the school of nursing.

One year of unimaginable grief for their parents.

"I cannot tell you the pain we suffer every day,” parent Kathy Clark said.

Officials said during the early morning of April 22, 2015, f

when a semi racing up at 68 miles per hour slammed into the women’s vehicles while traffic was at a dead stop on Interstate 16.

"Little did they know that they were in front of a tractor-trailer which was owned by a company which compromised its safety and their safety, by hiring a driver who even the defendants admit was a mistake to hire,” attorney Robert Cheeley said.

In announcing a settlement in

, attorneys for the parents insisted the company sacrificed safety by employing driver John Wayne Johnson -- who lawyers said admitted he was fired from his previous job for falling asleep at the wheel and rolling the rig.

The trucking company also had no camera in the cab to discourage distracted driving.

Lawyers called the settlement substantial, but the mothers and fathers of the victims said it was never about the money.

"I would trade my soul and my heart for just one more 'Dad, I love you,” parent James DeLoach said.

A statement from the trucking company confirmed the settlement.

“On behalf of all of the employees of Total Transportation of Mississippi, I am profoundly sorry for the pain and loss we have caused,” CEO John Stomps said.