BOISE – The families of three Idaho airmen who died in a fiery crash on Interstate 84 have filed tort claims against the Idaho Transportation Department.
The families say that inadequate signage and warnings ahead of a construction zone contributed to a June collision that killed four people, the Idaho Statesman reported Wednesday.
The three claims allege more than $12 million in damages.
The tort claims put the state on notice that they intend to file lawsuits. The state has 90 days to respond to the claims. If the state denies or does not respond to the claims, the families may file lawsuits.
Senior Airman Carlos “C.J.” Johnson, Senior Airman Lawrence “Pit” Manlapit III, Senior Airman Karlie A. Westall, all of the Mountain Home Air Force Base, and tractor-trailer driver Illya D. Tsar were killed in the June 16 crash.
Johnson’s Jeep was stopped in a line of traffic on the interstate when it was struck from behind by Tsar’s 2019 Volvo, according to investigations by Idaho State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Tsar’s truck burst into flames after the crash.
Johnson’s parents are seeking damages that they estimate will exceed $5 million.
Manlapit’s father filed a claim on behalf of his son’s estate seeking $2 million. The cause of the damages listed is “traffic obstructed by construction project without appropriate warnings, highway markings, control or management.”
The parents of Westall are seeking damages they expect to exceed $5 million on behalf of their daughter’s estate.
Toina Jorgensen and Erika Medina, both of Nampa, also filed a claim against the Idaho Transportation Department in connection with the crash. The women were involved in one of the chain-reaction collisions. The women are each seeking damages not to exceed $35,000.
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