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Mother of boy killed in fiery I-75 crash near Gainesville files lawsuit

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7 people killed in fiery crash near Gainesville. (Alachua County Fire Rescue)

The mother of a 14-year-old boy killed last week in a fiery crash has filed a lawsuit.

Chasity Warren, whose son, Jeremiah Warren, was killed in the Jan. 3 crash, filed the wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against Eagle Express Lines, Inc., New Prime, Inc. and Robyn Rattray, a 41-year-old woman who was involved in the crash.

According to the lawsuit, Warren blames Eagles Express because Steve Holland, the West Palm Beach truck driver believed to have caused the crash, was working and driving a truck for the company.

Rattray, like many of those that survived the crash, was seriously injured, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The lawsuit alleges that the negligence of Holland and Rattray is what caused the deadly crash that killed Jeremiah Warren and six others. The chain-reaction crash started when Holland's tractor trailer hit the back of the Honda Rattray was driving, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Both vehicles, which were heading north, crashed through the guardrails and into the southbound lanes.

Holland's tractor trailer then hit the church van Warren was in, causing it to flip over several times, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Some people were ejected. Then, Holland's truck hit Bolkema's tractor trailer. Both trucks and the Honda burst into flames.

Holland, Jeremiah Warren and five others were killed, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Warren's family also blames trucker Douglas Bolkema, who was driving for New Prime Inc., for "contributing to the crash."

Eagles Express posted to the company's Facebook page about "devastated" it was about the crash.

Records show between 2000 and 2014, Holland was ticked in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia for violations including, speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, not carrying proof of insurance and driving an overloaded vehicle, the Associated Press reported.

The Warrens are suing for damages "in excess of $15,000" and filed the lawsuit in Palm Beach County because Holland lived here, as well as "caused and contributed to the crash and the wrongful death of Jeremiah Jayce Warren," according to court documents.

Read the full lawsuit:


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