DOH wants payback

by John O'Brien |
Nov. 10, 2006, 1:50am

CHARLESTON - The state Department of Transportation's Division of Highways wants to be paid back for damages done to its property during a November 2004 wreck that involved a drunk driver.

Commissioner Paul Mattox filed the lawsuit Oct. 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Lonnie Hoke and Jackie Koontz, both of Ballard.

The complaint says Koontz allowed Hoke to driver a 1995 Ford Ranger truck on Nov. 12, 2004, but Hoke got drunk and crashed into a guardrail on Route 25 near Hans Creek Road in Greenville.

"(Hoke) lost control of said vehicle and struck a road sign and guardrail, which extended across the Indian Creek Bridge," the complaint says.

It adds that Hoke was charged with driving under the influence, to which he pled no contest in August 2005.

"The accident was caused by the negligence, intoxication and unlawful acts of Defendant Lonnie Junior Hoke," the complaint says.

The DOH seeks $2,266.49 and court costs. The complaint says the agency provided an invoice to Hoke, who has not paid it.

"Jackie Koontz either knew or should have known that he/she and/or Lonnie Junior Hoke were required to comply with all rules and regulations promulgated by the West Virginia State Code," the complaint says.

Sudha Sharma is handling the case for the DOH.

Judge Charles King has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2304

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