An Ohio woman has filed a wrongful death suit against the representative of the estate of a man that she claims killed three of her family members in a West Virginia car crash.
The accident occurred in April 2010 when the man’s Chevrolet Malibu collided with another driver’s Oldsmobile Cutlass. The Cutlass was attempting to switch lanes. The collision caused both cars to travel through the median and across lanes of oncoming traffic on Interstate 64, where the vehicles eventually crashed into a tractor-trailer driven by the woman’s relative. Two other relatives were passengers in the tractor-trailer rig. Evidence suggests that they died from asphyxiation and severe burns.
The driver of the car accused of causing the accident was declared dead at the scene of the crash.
The collision caused the larger truck’s fuel tank to rupture, spilling diesel fuel and igniting an explosion that killed all three of the occupants in the cab. The truck came to rest in the emergency lane on the shoulder of the road, with the cab engulfed in flames.
The woman claims that the deceased driver’s negligence caused the accident. She argues that he was traveling too fast to effectively maneuver his vehicle and he failed to appropriately yield the right of way.
The defendant was also negligent, the woman claims, because he failed to maintain a safe distance between his vehicle and others and he attempted to pass the other car in the right-hand lane before the collision. The suit also suggests that the man failed to abide by a variety of other traffic laws and statutes governing proper behavior on the road.
The woman is seeking punitive damages against the estate of the accused driver. The case has been assigned to a Huntington, West Virginia judge and further information is forthcoming.
Source: The West Virginia Record, “Ohio woman sues for deaths of three family members,” Kyla Asbury, March 26, 2012