Governor among defendants in Turnpike wreck suit

By John O'Brien | May 30, 2006

Gov. Joe Manchin

CHARLESTON - A Minnesota man involved in a wreck on the West Virginia Turnpike in Kanawha County is suing Gov. Joe Manchin and the Department of Transportation secretary.

Roger Wade Thornton filed the lawsuit May 19 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Manchin is being sued in his capacity of chairman of the West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority.

Thornton is represented by Timothy Bradford of Bradford Law Offices and argues that because his wrecked occurred on a toll road, Manchin and Transportation Secretary Danny Ellis are responsible.

Franklin D. Meador Jr., the driver of the other car, is also listed as a defendant.

Thornton claims he collided with Meador's car, which was parked on the highway, on the night of May 21, 2004, near the 70-mile marker of the West Virginia Turnpike, which also is Interstate 77/64 in Kanawha County.

"The West Virginia Turnpike is a toll road that for a fee provides vehicle operators the right to operate their vehicles on a highway that is patrolled by safety/courtesy patrols," the complaint says.

Thornton says it was the duty of Ellis and Manchin to make sure safety patrols noticed a car stopped on the highway and alerted him to the danger of it.

"Defendants negligently failed to take the necessary steps to warn the plaintiff that the vehicle of Defendant Franklin Meador Jr. was stopped in a traveling lane," the complaint says.

Thornton says he has incurred medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages and earning capacity and physical and emotional injury.

He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Judge Paul Zakaib has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-964

More News

The Record Network