Big Rig Driver's Name Released Two Months After Deadly Accident: CHP

In the amended complaint, one victim who survived the crash claims the driver was reckless behind the wheel.

The driver of a semi-truck that jack-knifed another vehicle, killing a mother and daughter and seriously injuring a 6-year-old girl, has been identified.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) confirmed Tuesday that Zonabo Lingani Sawagodo is a resident of Georgia, employed by Swift Transportation, who was behind the wheel on Aug. 2, when the vehicles fatally collided on State Route 125 in early August. NBC 7 had first learned the name from an amended complaint, filed by the mother of a 6-year-old seriously injured in the crash.

In the amended complaint, one victim who survived the crash, Aneta Andarus claims the driver, Sawagodo, was reckless behind the wheel. Andarus said her daughter might be “permanently paralyzed.”

CHP said the big rig, owned by Swift Transportation, drifted across lanes in both directions before coming to a halt in a jack-knife position.

A mother and daughter were killed, and six others were hurt, including Andarus’ daughter, 6-year-old Christina Tila.

Christina has been in the hospital since the crash.

Andarus also claimed the driver caused emotional distress to her 2-year-old daughter, after seeing her sister’s “traumatic injuries.”

CHP is currently looking at dash-cam video to determine what caused the driver to veer off into oncoming traffic. If it finds that the driver was at fault, it will charge her. At this time, it has not charged her for the crash. The Cobb County Sheriff's office and the Cobb County Police Department in Georgia said Sawagodo had no previous record. 

NBC 7 also reached out to Swift Transportation numerous times and has yet to receive a response. At this time, it is still unclear if Sawagado is working for Swift and driving behind the wheel.

The last time NBC 7 heard from Swift Transportation was in mid-August. At that time, Cozette Phifer, the Vice President of Marketing and Communication for the company, said the investigation is ongoing and will not be complete for some time.

"Because of that, we aren’t able to comment on specific personnel or decisions concerning our personnel, right now,” Phifer wrote. "All I can really tell you is that our hearts go out to all involved, including their friends and family. We are doing all we can to determine what happened, how it happened and how we can make sure it doesn’t happen, again."

The suit does not list a specific amount of damages.

NBC 7 also spoke with an attorney representing the family of the mother and daughter killed in the crash. He has not filed any litigation yet, but is currently working with the family to file suit.  

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