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HUNTSVILLE, AL, August 27, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The father of a 24-year-old medical student who was killed in a Mobile wreck is suing the driver for her wrongful death. Harold Thomas, the father of Samantha Thomas, filed a lawsuit on August 26, 2020 in Mobile County Circuit Court against the driver, Dr. Jonathan Nakhla, a 36-year-old neurosurgeon formerly employed by Mobile Infirmary. In the lawsuit, the father alleges Nakhla is to blame for the collision and his daughter's death.
According to the lawsuit, on August 1, 2020, Nakhla was driving his high-performance Audi R8 Spyder convertible on the West I-65 Service Road, and Samantha was a passenger in his vehicle. The wreck occurred around 12:41 a.m. when Nakhla's vehicle left the road and collided with a concrete ditch dividing Interstate 65 from the service road. Nakhla's vehicle then struck the guardrail, rolling six times before striking a light pole and landing upside down. Nakhla's Audi continued from there before coming to an uncontrolled stop in a ditch.
The suit alleges that Samantha suffered injuries resulting in her death as a result of Nakhla's reckless driving. According to the complaint, Nakhla lost control of the vehicle while driving 138 miles per hour and under the influence of alcohol. The fatal collision occurred on a service road with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour. The lawsuit alleges Nakhla consumed numerous alcoholic beverages prior to getting behind the wheel of his high-performance Audi.
In the lawsuit, Thomas is seeking punitive damages to punish and deter Nakhla's conduct, and demands a jury trial. A date for that trial has not yet been established.
According to court documents, Nakhla was charged criminally with manslaughter for the crash. Nakhla has pleaded not guilty, and he has been released on a $200,000 bond. The criminal case is set for a preliminary hearing on September 2, 2020.
Joe King, the Thomas' attorney, said that Samantha's family lost a daughter with unlimited potential. King stated: "Samantha excelled in life. She graduated valedictorian from Guntersville High School in 2014. She received a scholarship to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where she graduated with honors in 2018. Samantha was then awarded a scholarship to attend medical school at University of South Alabama. Samantha was in her third year of medical school when she was killed, and she was the first in her family to attend medical school. Her life reflected Samantha's desire to help those in need. To honor her memory, the Thomas family has started a memorial scholarship in Samantha's name to help disadvantaged medical students at the University of South Alabama.
It is her family's hope and desire that Dr. Jonathan Nakhla will accept responsibility for his actions that caused the death of Samantha. The family is confident that, regardless of any efforts to avoid responsibility, the justice system will hold Nakhla accountable."
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