In July 2019, a tragic car crash occurred in Pensacola that claimed the lives of two teen girls. ABC News says that Deleigha “Leigha” Gibson, 18, and Samara Cooks, 15, both were killed after the vehicle they were traveling in veered out of control, hit a utility pole, and then skidded into some trees. There were two other girls inside the vehicle at the time, however, they were fortunate enough to have survived the collision.
While the news of the teen girls’ death was hard enough for their parents to digest, things only became more difficult for the families after they learned that the bodies of their teen daughters had gotten mixed up. The news source says that when Renada Cooks traveled from her home in Atlanta to verify her daughter’s remains, she was confronted with another child’s body—the body of Deleigha “Leigha” Gibson. She told the source that when she walked in to see her daughter, she “saw Tammy’s daughter.” The mother says that “precious moments were taken away from [her family] that [they] deserved to have.”
The source says that the medical examiner “had released the wrong bodies to the wrong funeral homes, which embalmed the wrong bodies without authorization.” To make matters even more problematic, one of the teens had signed up to be an organ donor in the event of her death. Because of the mix-up, authorities harvested organs from Cooks who had not agreed to be an organ donor.
The Parents of Both Girls File Lawsuits
The parents of both girls have decided to file lawsuits against the Florida Highway Patrol, several Escambia County officials, and two funeral homes. The lawsuits seek an unspecified amount in damages claiming that “despite [the girls’] age difference and different physical characteristics,” their identities were switched” which has made it difficult for the families to give their children a proper burial.
Hiring a FL Car Accident Lawyer Following the Occurrence of a Crash in Fort Lauderdale
Car collisions are complicated matters that often require help from an experienced lawyer. While some struggle to give their loved one the proper burial, others can’t seem to recover the compensation they need that would allow them to afford the medical care their injuries require to be rendered. Therefore, if you’re loved one was injured or killed in a car crash and you need help understanding your legal rights, you are encouraged to contact a Fort Lauderdale, FL car accident lawyer at Madalon Law who can help you get through this trying time.
You can reach Madalon Law at:
100 N. Federal Highway, #CU5
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301