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Woman gets $2M from trucking company after crash on I-65

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Brittany Johnson is getting $2 million for the injuries she suffered after a semi driver didn’t turn on his emergency lights while stopped on Interstate 65 in Tippecanoe County.

Commercial truck drivers are required by federal regulations to turn on their blinkers when they are stopped. It’s called the moth effect, drivers will follow the lights and reflectors off the back of semis thinking they are still moving.

Johnson wishes flashers would have warned her fiance, Josh Horne, who was driving the car. However, Horne, died as a result of the crash.

“The truck driver himself didn’t turn on his flashers, or put up any of the caution signs,” said Johnson. “And it was dark outside, so you couldn’t even potentially see that there was any kind of accident.”

Johnson suffered skull injuries, broken ribs, hearing and memory loss.

“The accident actually left her in a coma for a couple of days,” said Tim Schafer II, one of Johnson’s attorneys. “And then when she awoke from the coma, she wasn’t able to remember her mom, her aunt.”

He said she also couldn’t comprehend the death of her fiance and for weeks had to keep reliving it because people had to retell her.

April 27, 2008, the night of the crash, a Sandberg truck driver pulled over after hitting a deer.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require truck drivers to immediately turn on their flashing emergency lights and put out warning triangles within the first 10 minutes.

The Sandberg truck driver didn’t do either of those things, so a Tippecanoe County civil jury placed 30 percent of the blame on Sandberg and awarded Johnson with $2.13 million.

WISH-TV’s sister station WLFI asked Johnson if she feels like that is enough money.

“I believe so,” responded Johnson. “I mean, I’m just glad it’s over.”

This case has been ongoing for almost a decade.

Johnson said she didn’t do it all for the money, she’s hoping drivers learn a lesson from this.

“Now it’s done for me, and I can take care of like medical bills and stuff in the future,” said Johnson. “But I could hopefully, potentially, help other people when they’re on the road and stop this from ever happening to anybody else.”

There is no word yet if Sandberg Trucking will file an appeal on the verdict. They have 30 days to file.