CHARLESTON – A highway construction worker is alleging she was injured by the very person assigned to protect her.

Shirley Amanda Smith filed a personal injury suit against the West Virginia State Police and Trooper Jeffrey Shawn Chumley in Kanawha Circuit Court on June 28. In her complaint, Smith, a West Union resident, alleges while working in Marion County in 2009 she was injured by Chumley's inattentive driving.

According to her suit, Smith was working as a flagger for a paving project on Interstate 79 in Kingmont on June 30, 2009. It is unclear for whom she was working.

Nevertheless, about 6:45 that morning, Smith maintains she was "removing cones from the traffic lanes in preparation to begin her work as a traffic controller." At the same time, Chumley was on duty patrolling the construction zone.

While on patrol, Smith alleges Chumley "negligently fell asleep at the wheel, and failed to maintain control over his vehicle, striking [her]." Due to being struck by Chumley's cruiser, Smith maintains she sustained severe injuries to her neck, back and knee.

As a result, Smith alleges she's suffered "annoyance, aggravation and mental anguish" and has incurred medical expenses and lost wages. In addition to one made against Chumley for negligence, Smith makes claims against the State Police for vicarious liability, failure to train and supervise and negligent supervision, hiring and training.

In her suit, Smith seeks unspecified damages, interest, court costs and attorney fees. She is represented by Tammy Bowles Raines with the Warner Law Offices in Charleston.

The case is assigned to Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 11-C-1085

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