Family of Atlanta sanitation worker sues City and accused drunk - CBS46 News

Family of Atlanta sanitation worker sues City and accused drunk co-worker

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The widow of a man killed while on the job is suing the City of Atlanta.

Sanitation worker Derryl Simmons was working for the City when the garbage truck he was a passenger in crashed and flipped several times on southbound I-75 at the Cleveland Avenue exit on Nov. 2, 2013.

The truck driver, Melvin Callahan, was also on the clock and accused of drunk driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Police also found an open bottle of vodka in the truck cabin during their investigation.

Simmons' widow and her attorney filed the lawsuit against the City and Callahan Tuesday. They say the City has not answered any of the concerns since the deadly wreck.

"This is very hard for me," said widow Louise Simmons. "It's been eight months, I lost my husband. I lost my best friend. And I haven't gotten any answers from the City of Atlanta about what happened to my husband."

"How does the City allow a driver to drive a vehicle to take other employees lives into their own hands?" asked attorney Robert Bozeman, representing the Simmons family. "And, how does an employee believe it's OK to be that drunk with a City vehicle around? It's quite disturbing."

Bozeman points to previous drunk driving trouble Callahan had been in and stressed he should never have been behind the wheel to begin with.

"We have concerns about how he was allowed not just to continue to work at the City of Atlanta, but to continue to drive at the City of Atlanta, and continue to drive other employees around as part of his employment," Bozeman said during a press conference announcing the lawsuit.

"I want answers and I want the City to come up with a way to prevent this from happening to anybody else," Louise Simmons added, choking back tears. "I wouldn't want any family to go through what I'm going through right now."

At the end of the work day Tuesday, a spokesman for the City of Atlanta told CBS46 reporter Donna Rapado the City still had not heard of the lawsuit, nor had it received any legal documents.

Spokesman Carlos Campos said the City had terminated Melvin Callahan from his job as a sanitation worker. Callahan has since passed away.

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