Family files suit in deaths

Published 1:41 pm Friday, September 19, 2008

Relatives of a Vancleave, Mississippi family killed in a crash on Interstate 12 east of Baton Rouge in July have filed a federal wrongful death suit against a Waste Management driver, three Waste Management corporations and others.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Mississippi, accuses the defendants of willful, wanton negligence in the deaths of husband and wife Phillip and Shyla Van Alstine, and of a third family member, as well as in the severe injury of a fourth family member.

State police determined James C. Lane caused a chain-reaction crash when a Waste Management 18-wheeler he was driving ran into the Van Alstines’ van. Another 18-wheeler and another van were also involved in the crash.

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Lane was booked last month on three counts of negligent homicide, two counts of negligent injuring and a single count of reckless operation of a vehicle.

The suit seeks a jury trial and damages for funeral, burial and medical expenses; loss of support and services; pain and suffering; and other damages, including punitive damages.