Couple who lost baby after crash to sue local farm who hired driver

The driver had no valid license and an expired work permit.

A Plant City couple’s baby was just days away from being born was killed in a car crash about 6 months ago.

Police say the driver never should have been behind the wheel, and this couple wants someone to take responsibility for this terrible loss.

 Alyssa Copeland says she woke up after the crash and “I asked where my daughter was. I said, “Is my baby dead?  And my mom said yes."

She doesn’t remember much about the June 5 accident. She was on her way home from work – excited about finishing up her baby’s nursery.

 At 38 weeks pregnant, she knew baby Lena could come at any time.

"I almost died and I was incubated for 4 days and to wake up to a nightmare,” she said.

“I'm 27 years old, my daughter is gone and I have no chance to ever carry a child again.”

Plant City police say a man driving a bus filled with 53 migrant workers ran a red light and hit Copeland at the intersection of Interstate 4 and Alexander Street.

First responders tried, but they could not save the baby’s life.

Tomas Martinez-Olivera is being held in federal custody. Investigators say he did not have a valid driver’s license and his work visa was expired.

Copeland and her husband Taj plan to sue the company Martinez-Olivera worked for.

"As in any company if you hire someone to work for you and they're within the scope of the job, you are responsible for their actions,” says Will Florin, who is representing the Copelands.

Their medical bills are more than $700,000. Their dream of having a biological child together – gone in an instant.

"Just one day at a time, trying to stay positive,” Tai Copeland said. “It's tough. We have a bedroom filled with baby stuff. We hope to one day get to use it. Everything we think about what it's supposed to be like. Every day I wake up and go through my day and hope the next day is going to be a better day so one day at a time,” Alyssa Copeland said.

We contacted the company the couple plans on suing but have not heard back.

We will stay on top of this story and bring you more details once the lawsuit is filed on Monday.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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