Early last month, a Kittanning man, along with the company he had worked for, were ordered to pay $32 million to the family of a boy killed in a 2012 car accident. The boy was one week away from his 7th birthday at the time of the fatal accident.
The family’s Pontiac Vibe was having issues while traveling northbound on Route 38 on May 1, 2012. The family was hit by a truck driven by the Kittanning man. According to the family’s attorney, the driver did nothing to avoid the collision until .6 seconds before impact. Since the truck weighed 7,500 pounds and did not have proper stopping time, the truck drove directly into the family’s vehicle.
The young boy was killed in the crash while his parents and younger brother were injured by the impact. The family’s attorney reported that the truck driver had 20 seconds to change lanes or stop his vehicle rather than striking the small car.
A jury awarded a $32 million verdict, which has been reported as the largest in a wrongful death lawsuit in Allegheny County involving the death of a child. The driver of the truck had a previous DUI and should not have been driving the truck to begin with. The driver also did not have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license when he was hired by the company.
The driver pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle, speeding and reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to 23 months in jail and five years on probation.
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