MACON, Ga. — The family of a Jones County woman killed in August when a tire flew off a semi-truck and smashed into her car is suing both the trucking company and the driver.

Her husband, Perry Thomas, and her estate’s administrator, Darrell Partee, are the plaintiffs in a federal civil suit filed Jan. 9 in Macon.

The accident happened Aug. 11 on Interstate 75 South in Peach County.

Here’s what the suit alleges:

Jennifer Thomas was driving her 2016 Acura MDX with her mother, father and son as passengers.

Yurien Bello Chavez was driving a tractor-trailer owned by US Xpress Transport that was going north on I-75.

Yurien Bello

The suit says two of the wheels on the left side of Chavez’s truck came off, and one of them crossed the median and crashed into Thomas’ hood and windshield.

From there, the suit says Thomas crashed into the vehicle to her right. It then crossed back left before going off the shoulder and crashing into the concrete median. She died immediately.

The lawsuit lists 10 counts, which allege negligence by Chavez for failing to inspect his trailer to ensure safe operation.

It also alleges negligence by US Xpress Transport in multiple ways, from training and retaining an employee that posed a risk to others, to failure to properly inspect or maintain vehicles in their fleet.

The plaintiffs also say they have not been able to inspect the tractor and trailer involved months after the accident.

In August, Yurien Bello Chavez, who lives in Miami, was charged with 2nd-degree vehicular homicide, unsafe vehicle/equipment, and defective tires.


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