GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – A lawsuit is still in the court on behalf of five victims of the 2021 Highway 26 washout in George County.

Three people died and nine others were injured after Hurricane Ida dumped 14 inches of rain in the region, causing part of the road to collapse into a 50 feet long and 20 feet deep crater.

The family of 39-year-old Amanda Williams of Wiggins is suing the state after her death. The lawsuit, filed in April, represents her estate, an unborn child she was carrying, and her 16-year-old daughter that was injured in the crash. 

The three lawsuits combined with one other in July by Harvy Shows of Covington, Louisiana who was injured in the washout, and his wife Paula. Greenwood attorneys Charles Swayze, Jr., and Charles Swayze, III, represent the plaintiffs.

They argue the Mississippi Department of Transportation was aware of the dangerous condition of that section of road with an underground water source that was a contributing cause of the collapse but failed to maintain the road or warn the public.

In the initial answer to the lawsuit, attorney Clark Hicks of Hattiesburg says MDOT is not liable for any of the claims as the injuries were caused solely by the effect of the weather conditions.

While it does not directly defend the plaintiff’s claim of failing to properly construct the road and its foundation, the response says the extreme weather was an “intervening and superseding” cause of the collapse.

The initial claim filed by the Shows requested a $1.5 million judgment. No trial date is set. Subpoenas were issued to the George Co. Emergency Management Agency and Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Highway Patrol on August 18.

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