Attorney Joseph Fried has filed a negligence lawsuit against truck driver Steve Holland and others on behalf of the mother of 14-year-old Jeremiah Warren, Chasity Warren. Court documents show Holland received numerous tickets between 2000 and 2014 for violations such as speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, and driving an overloaded vehicle.
The mother of one of the five children who died in a fiery crash while on their way to Walt Disney World has filed a lawsuit. Attorney Joseph Fried filed the lawsuit earlier this month in Palm Beach County against truck driver Steve Holland and others on behalf of the mother of teen Jeremiah Warren, Chasity Warren.
14-year-old Jeremiah and the other children were in a church van from Louisiana headed to the resort when they were killed in a tragic accident near Gainesville, Florida. Holland, of West Palm Beach, and truck driver Douglas Bolkema were also killed. The collision caused nearly fifty gallons of diesel fuel to ignite on impact.
Fried is seeking to obtain records for the two tractor-trailers involved and examine Holland’s and Bolkema’s driving records. Court documents show Holland received numerous tickets between 2000 and 2014 for violations such as speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, and driving an overloaded vehicle. This poor record may be an indication that he should not have been behind the wheel when the incident occurred.
Eagle Express Lines, Inc., and New Prime, Inc. are the two companies mentioned in the filing, as a truck from each company was involved. Robyn Rattray is also mentioned, as she was driving a vehicle and was injured in that wreck. Warren and her attorney are alleging negligence against the defendants, as well as the drivers and are asking damages in excess of $15,000 and a trial by jury.
Funeral services for the teen were held in the Chapel of Hixson Brothers Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 15, at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend David Wilson, Reverend Wayne Romig, Reverend Kyle Couvillion and Pastor Eric Descant officiating. The teen’s obituary states, “Jeremiah was a big fan of Michael Jackson and loved to dance. He always watched YouTube and wished one day to have a YouTube channel of his own. He was a quiet and well-behaved kid, however a very protective big brother. He participated in many programs and was actively involved in his church Avoyelles House of Mercy. He was a great friend to all, but he and his friend Joel were ‘best buddies’ and always will be.” Jeremiah also left behind four brothers and three sisters.
Kayla Warren, one of his sisters, said her eighth-grade brother went to church to participate in their youth group three times a week and was a “child of God.” She added the teen was “so excited” to go on the trip.
“It was his first time going to Disney,” Kayla said. “He never got to go on vacation. He grew up in a single-parent home.”
Kayla remembers Jeremiah as “a very quiet and to himself kind of person” who had aspirations to become a lawyer someday. Their nine-year-old sister had also wanted to go on the trip with him, but all children under the age of ten needed to be accompanied by a chaperone, and the children’s father, Michael Warren, couldn’t attend.
“I’m thankful that she didn’t go,” says Kayla, “but it’s so terrible that we lost him.” She added, “We’re at a loss for words. We’re heartbroken and devastated.”