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Hawkins widower files $6 million lawsuit in semi crash

Jeff Bobo • Updated Jun 17, 2019 at 2:16 PM

CHURCH HILL — The widower of a Hawkins County woman who was killed as the result of a May highway collision with a tractor-trailer has filed a $6 million federal lawsuit against the trucking company claiming, among other things, general negligence.

The complaint was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Greeneville by Rogersville attorney Mark Stapleton on behalf of Charles Blevins, the husband of Diana Blevins, 73, of Mount Carmel.

On the morning of May 1, the couple were traveling east on Highway 11-W approaching the intersection of AFG Road in Church Hill.

At that same time, Mario Flores Irigollen, on behalf of EMR Express, Inc., was driving a tractor-trailer west approaching the intersection of AFG and 11-W.

Irigollen reportedly pulled across into the eastbound lane of travel blocking both lanes of highway, the shoulder, and half of the median between the east and westbound lanes.

The lawsuit alleges that at that moment he gave the Blevinses no room and no time to avoid a collision.

Charles Blevins reportedly attempted to miss the semi by cutting left, sliding through the grass in the median onto the paved median and striking the two rear tandem axles on the trailer.

The lawsuit further alleges that Irigollen was traveling at such a high rate of speed when he attempted to make the lefthand turn from the west lane across the eastbound lanes of traffic of Highway 11-W that he “overshot” AFG Road.

Diana Blevins was killed as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

The lawsuit states, “Diana Blevins suffered serious injuries as a result of the negligence of Mario Irigollen on behalf of Defendant EMR Express, Inc. She was alive at the scene and treated at the scene. She engaged in conversation at the scene and otherwise was able to talk to the EMS workers about her medical condition but could not explain in any way the details of the automobile collision. She suffered pain and other physical issues as a result of the closed head injury and was immediately extracted from the automobile in which she was a passenger, placed in EMS transport and taken to Holston Valley Medical Center. Unfortunately, Ms. Diana Blevins succumbed to the injuries she received in the automobile collision.”

Charles Blevins suffered a broken hip as well as multiple fractures to his right femur and ribs. The lawsuit seeks $3 million in damages for Charles Blevins for his injuries and for the loss of his wife.

Irigollen, 56, of Glenn Heights, Texas, was cited into Hawkins County Sessions Court on one count of failure to yield right of way resulting in death. He is scheduled to appear on Aug. 14.

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