Woman sues State Police after husband killed in towing accident

By Chris Dickerson | Feb 23, 2006

CHARLESTON – The State Police and two State Troopers are being sued by a woman who claims the officers' negligence led to her husband's death.

Andrea Wiley, administratrix of the estate of Tony Lee Wiley, filed the lawsuit Jan. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

In the suit, she says troopers M.K. Elkins and D.C. Brinegar of the Hamlin Detachment of the State Police were patrolling W.Va. 37 near Ranger in Lincoln County on Oct. 2, 2004, when they cam across a disabled vehicle that had been abandoned alongside the road.

The State Police radioed Lincoln County 911 to have Brumfield's Wrecker Service send a tow truck to remove the vehicle from the roadway. Tony Wiley was dispatched by the wrecker service to make the call.

Upon arriving at the scene, Tony Wiley talked with the State Troopers before starting his job. When he began removing the vehicle, the officers began talking to Rodney Vance in his nearby driveway, according to the suit.

Soon, a van driven by George Chittenden rounded the curve and struck and killed Tony Wiley.

Andrea Wiley claims the officers violated State Police policies regarding road patrol, disabled vehicles and towing vehicles. She also says they knew or should have known that violating those policies could result in injury or death to Tony Wiley.

She also alleges the troopers were negligent in failing to place flares alongside the roadway, in failing to activate their emergency lights and in failing to ensure for Wiley's safety.

Andrea Wiley seeks compensatory damages to be determined at trial for the loss of her husband and the sorrow, mental anguish, solace, society, companionship and comfort for the loss of her husband. She also seeks lost future earnings of her husband, reasonable funeral expenses, pre-judgment interest, court costs, attorney fees and other relief.

Wiley requests a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-146

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