Jury Hears About Catastrophic Loss

Five Members of Madere Family Killed In East Alabama Crash

Correction: A statement under oath by the truck driver’s former attorney about visiting a crash scene and not finding fault was referencing a previous collision in 2013 involving Kenneth Cathey not the fatal crash on Highway 80 in 2016.


The Madere family was described as one tight knit group, held together by their rock Judy Madere.

Relatives told a Muscogee County Jury Judy shared a special bond with her identical twin sister Trudy Hebert, doted on her daughters and especially her grandchildren.

The family often made the journey to Smiths Station to see her daughter “AJ” Thomas.

In heart wrenching testimony, Thomas said they were planning their next girls trip when the family departed back to Louisiana from her home in East Alabama. She texted her sister Carrie Jones to see if they had made it through an awful wreck she heard about on Highway 80.

Her sister never responded.

“My dad called me and said that they were all gone and I didn’t really understand what he was talking about but I really couldn’t understand what he was saying. And he kept repeating it and I’m like who is gone and he said all of them. They’re all gone,” Thomas told the Jury.

Her dad, Larry told the jury he lost his everything.

His love affair with his wife Judy lasted more than four decades with love notes in her daily breakfast and flowers for every occasion.

“I kiss her picture every morning. I have her grave markers in my front yard. I have a little garden there I sit out and talk to her,” Madere said about his wife of 42 years.

The Plaintiff’s rested with the family members riveting testimony.

The Defense also called Schnitzer Trucking’s Regional General Manager. He acknowledged under cross examination that nobody from their company interviewed Kenneth Cathey, read the crash report or disciplined their driver who was fired just three weeks ago, more than three years after Schnitzer trucker killed five people.


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Categories: Alabama News