CHARLESTON - A Logan County man has received $1 million in a settlement after his wife was killed when a large tree fell on the car, crushing her.
Marling Collins was awarded the settlement during a hearing last week in Kanawha Circuit Court with a large landowner. The case was being heard before Putnam Circuit Court Judge O.C. Spaulding. The settlement was reached, thus ending the trial.
Collins filed the lawsuit against Taylor-Vinson Trust, landowners from Huntington, and their management company Getty Engineering of Charleston, on behalf of his wife, Donna Collins.
According to the suit, she died Aug. 31, 2004, after a heavy rain caused a 70-foot tree to slide off a hillside on W.Va. 10 and onto her 1993 Ford Taurus. She was driving with her toddler grandson, who was able to climb out of his car seat and out the car window.
"The window of hell was open for 27 minutes for this child," Collins' attorney, Timothy Koontz, said to the Charleston Daily Mail. "The car was energized by a power pole and with power lines dancing like fighting cobras at him, he ran through the sparking lines, ran to EMTs and said, 'My grandmom's dead.'"
According to Koontz, several trees around the one that fell on Donna Collins already had fallen, so the landowners were allegedly negligent by not clearing the rest of the hillside.
The land were the accident happened is part of 1,300 acres in Logan and Mingo Counties.
Charleston attorney Tim Mayo of Flaherty, Sensabaugh and Bonasso represented Taylor-Vinson Trust, while Lee Javins of Bucci, Bailey and Javins, also in Charleston, represented Getty Engineering Company.