Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Can a state agency be found liable in an auto accident case?

There were four accidents in one day earlier this year on Highway 62 in Hopkins County, Kentucky. One accident claimed the life of 17-year-old Shanice Bean, and now her friends and family want the accident investigation reopened. They have started an online petition and hope to persuade the state Attorney General’s office to act.

Hydraulic fluid made the roadway slick. Sand was spread to absorb the oil after the accidents started and later removed with a sweeper truck. Some believe the hydraulic fluid was leaked from a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet truck. A Hopkins County grand jury heard evidence but did not find any criminal culpability and did not indict anyone with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The investigation by the Hopkins County Sheriff’s office did find the hydraulic fluid to be a contributing factor in the accident; however, it also cited the speed of Bean’s vehicle and the limited tread on her car’s tires. A deputy’s report indicated that his cruiser slid along the road heading to the scene. He contacted Kentucky State Police; that agency did not recommend an accident reconstruction.

A family friend who is organizing the petition for Bean’s case maintains that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet knew about the fluid spill hours before the fatal accident and should have closed the road immediately to clean it up.

The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart has nearly 40 years of experience helping victims of car accidents as well as semi wrecks and motorcycle accidents. We have offices in Glasgow and Bowling Green, Kentucky, but travel throughout Kentucky and Tennessee to meet with clients. Contact us today at (888)782-9090 for a consultation.