The mothers of two teenage girls who died in a car crash last summer alleged that authorities mixed up their daughters’ bodies, resulting in one of the girls having her organs incorrectly removed for donation.
The lawsuits were filed in Escambia County Circuit Court by Ranada Cooks and Tammy Gibson after they discovered that authorities wrongly tagged the bodies of their daughters before being released to the funeral homes, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
They say the bodies of 18-year-old Deleigha “Leigha” Gibson and 15-year-old Samara Cooks were misidentified as each other and that funeral home employees tried to correct the error without informing the families. They also say they were not allowed to see their daughters’ bodies, which would have allowed for the error to be discovered much sooner.
What’s worse… medical examiner staff allegedly “extracted several organs from the body of Samara Cooks, who was not an organ donor.”
Ranada told ABC News, “I walked in to see my daughter, and I saw Tammy’s daughter. Precious moments were taken away from us that we deserved to have.” The lawsuit names the FHP, the Escambia County Coroner, the Escambia County Medical Examiner’s Office, the FHP Pensacola district commander, and two funeral homes as defendants.
According to the AP, Leigha and Samara were killed in a July 29 crash involving two of their other close friends in the Pensacola area.
The girls were driving around 1:30 a.m. when their vehicle veered off the road, hitting a utility pole and skidding into trees.