Nashville Ready Mix, accused of knowingly sending a faulty truck on the road before it struck and killed a man, has been charged.
Two employees of Nashville Ready Mix are already charged with vehicular and reckless homicide. The company itself now faces the same charges.
An attorney representing the family of the victim in this case said this latest indictment shows just how far-reaching this criminal case could go.
Court records show prosecutors have charged Nashville Ready Mix with eight counts of vehicular homicide and eight counts of reckless homicide.
Records specifically state the company allowed the operation of a motor vehicle without properly functioning equipment, including brakes.
Records also claim the truck that killed Lopez was too heavy. It weighed more than 73,000. The state limitation is 54,000 pounds.
“It indicates it wasn’t just the driver and the dispatcher that knew about the lack of brakes on this truck,” said Dave Rich, Lopez’s attorney.
The indictment of the company is the latest development in a Channel 4 I-Team investigation into Nashville Ready Mix. One of the company’s trucks hit and killed Lopez in March 2013.
An I-Team investigation uncovered testimony in the civil case that showed Donald Meadows, a co-founder of the company, stating that employees knew the truck had a faulty braking system.
“They’ve known it for three weeks,” Meadows said. “They run that truck with busted airbags.”
Now that the company has been indicted, attorneys said it raises more questions of who knew what and when?
“It gets us closer to the answering of a lot of questions that remain unanswered about the knowledge of who sent this truck out and why it ultimately ended in the tragic death of this husband and father of two,” Rich said.
The I-Team spoke to the district attorney on Monday, who said the multiple counts in each case are because there are different entities of the company and they wanted to cover their bases.
Hal Hardin, an attorney for Nashville Ready Mix, issued the following statement on Monday;
“We have been cooperating with the district attorney’s office on this tragic case and look forward to defending ourselves,” Hardin said.