CHARLESTON - A Boone County woman who was put into a coma for 30 days because of a car accident is suing Big E Trucking Company and the unknown driver of the truck she allegedly collided with.

Erica Mason and Danny Griffey of Sylvester filed the lawsuit April 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court through attorney Robert V. Berthold of the Charleston law firm of Berthold, Tiano and O'Dell.

The plaintiffs believe the tractor trailer that crossed the center line on Nov. 27 and struck them near Chelyan was carrying a shipment of coal and headed for an unloading facility in Chelyan.

They say the driver did not stop after Mason's 1994 Ford Probe was forced off the road, over an embankment and into a tree. Griffey, a passenger in the car, says he held a lit lighter outside the vehicle approximately 45 minutes after the accident to get someone to stop and help.

Mason says she sustained a grade five laceration to her liver, as well as a severe closed head injury that resulted in a 30-day coma.

She adds that she had a broken left hip, pelvis and right foot and stayed 85 days in the hospital, incurring medical bills in the approximate amount of $500,000.

Griffey says he sustained a ruptured spleen, fractured femur, four broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a broken hip. His expenses, he says, have amassed $100,000 to date.

John Doe is a listed defendant because the plaintiffs are not sure of the truck driver's identity.

Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-706

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