Passenger Sues Company Following Crane Collapse - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Passenger Sues Company Following Crane Collapse

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by Chris Conte

GALLATIN, Tenn. - The passenger in a car crushed when a crane collapsed over a Gallatin highway last May has sued the crane company. He hoped the lawsuit would prevent another accident.

"It was just a flash, just the crane coming down it was kind of like slow motion, just kind of like boom," said 61-year-old John Vargas.

Vargas had just returned from a fishing trip with a friend when the Toyota Corolla they were riding in suddenly became crushed by a construction crane that fell onto the Highway 109 bridge between Sumner and Wilson Counties.

"Next thing I knew the ambulance was hauling me to the hospital. I don't know what happened," he said.

Vargas and his friend who was driving managed to survive the crash after spending time in the hospital, but now the retired railroad worker has sued the cranes owner, Mountain States Contractors, for close to $2 million in punitive and injury damages.

"I don't want to see anyone else get hurt or killed. It was just a second that I could've been killed," Vargas said.

Vargas and his lawyer, Rocky McElhaney, said the company has a spotty safety record.

"We want to hold this company accountable and responsible for their dangerous construction practices," McElhaney said.

A lawyer for Mountain States Contractors said Mr. Vargas' case won't hold up in court and they believe what happened was nothing more than an accident and the company was not at fault.

Official reports on how the crane collapsed were still pending. 


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