CHARLESTON - The estate of a Kanawha County man who was crushed between two tractor-trailers is suing over his death.
Lacrecia Legg, acting as the administratrix of the Estate of Mark Hanna, her brother, filed the lawsuit Nov. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court against KLLM, Inc., Southwest Freightlines, Keith Pierce and Manuel Medrano.
The lawsuit says Hanna was a traveling companion in Pierce's truck during a May 2003 trip to Indianapolis. When they stopped at a rest stop for the night in Hendricks County in Indiana, Pierce, who was employed by KLLM, attempted to park his 53-foot tractor-trailer in the last remaining parking space.
However, the complaint adds that Medrano had parked on the yellow line of the space adjacent to the open one, and Pierce asked Hanna to leave the cab and help direct the parking job.
"Due to Pierce's willful and wanton conduct of moving the tractor-trailer backwards even though he could not see Mark Hanna demonstrated a reckless indifference to the safety of his passenger," the complaint says.
Legg adds that Hanna was supposed to meet a minimum of standards during the procedure by having Hanna stand where he was visible and working out a system of hand signals.
"He backed into the defendant Southwest Freightlines' tractor-trailer combination parked behind him, smashing Mr. Hanna in between the two trucks and ultimately resulting in the death of Mr. Hanna," the complaint says.
Hanna was 42 years old when he died. According to the suit, Pierce had seen him walking in the rain on a road in Tennessee and offered him a ride to Louisville. However, it adds that Pierce's destination was changed to Indianapolis.
The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for lost wages, funeral bills, medical expenses, horror and emotional distress, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
Attorney Kimberly Williams of Whiteman Burdette in Charleston is representing Legg.
Judge Louis Bloom has been assigned the case.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2431