MARTINSBURG – A Hampshire County man is seeking more than $1 million after he says a truck driver ran him off the road and crashed into him while the driver was communicating with his employer.
Gregory Geary claims he was attempting to pass a truck Jeffery Wayne Warr was driving on Route 37 on Aug. 11, 2007, after he noticed Warr was in an "obviously impaired state."
"The truck was traveling substantially slower than was typical for traffic on that road, and 10 mph below the posted speed limit, heading north in the right lane on an otherwise empty roadway, with the left directional indicator blinking," the suit filed July 20 in Berkeley Circuit Court states. "Mr. Warr later admitted at the scene of the subsequent collision that he was distracted because he was communicating with his employer, Defendant Hill-Rom, and not paying attention to his driving."
As Geary began to pass the truck Warr was driving, Warr suddenly swerved into the left lane and toward Geary's car, according to the complaint.
In order to avoid an accident, Geary laid on his horn, swerved quickly into the median and slammed on his brakes, the complaint says. All the while, Warr said he was unaware that Geary had swerved into the median because he was talking with his employer, the suit states.
While Geary was in the median, Warr suddenly attempted to make an illegal turn into a restricted emergency vehicle crossover, directly into Geary's path, according to the complaint.
"To Mr. Geary's horror, the Truck that had just run him off the highway now turned directly into the median as if to deliberately cause a highway speed crash," the complaint says. "Mr. Geary believed that he was going to die."
Geary's Toyota Corolla and Warr's truck collided in the paved crossover in the median divider, he claims.
"Mr. Warr was evidently attempting to change direction on a 65 mph four-lane divided highway by making an illegal U-turn through a restricted crossover in the median divider," the suit states.
Geary was placed in a neck brace, removed from his car on a backboard and transported by ambulance to Winchester Medical Center, according to the complaint.
Because of the accident, Geary has endured extensive medical treatment and physical therapy and has sustained chronic pain and physical limitations.
In the five-count suit, Geary is seeking compensatory damages of $229,455 and punitive damages of $1.1 million, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.
Geary will be representing himself.
Berkeley Circuit Court case number: 09-C-582