State Farm files suit over boy's bicycle accident

By Kelly Holleran | Oct 5, 2009

HUNTINGTON – An insurance company has filed suit against three people, including the man who it says hit a boy on a bicycle.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company claims it was forced to pay $140,000 to Janet and Wayne Van Clief after their son was hit by a 1998 Ford Explorer.

According to the complaint filed Sept. 9 in Cabell Circuit Court, Janet and Wayne Van Cliefs' son was riding a bicycle west at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street in Huntington on Sept. 10, 2007.

Suddenly, defendant Joshua Spears, who was driving a 1998 Ford Explorer registered to co-defendants Debra and Mark Pelfrey, attempted to make a left-hand turn from Fourth Street onto Sixth Avenue when he hit the Van Cliefs' son, the suit states.

At the time of the accident the Van Cliefs owned a 2007 Cadillac SUV and a motorcycle, which were insured by State Farm. The Van Cliefs' son was also a covered driver under their insurance policies, the complaint says.

Debra and Mark Pelfrey had no automobile liability insurance to pay for personal injuries to the Van Cliefs' son, State Farm alleges.

So, after the accident, State Farm claims it was forced to pay the Van Cliefs $10,000 for med-pay coverage and $130,000 for the personal injuries their son sustained.

State Farm says the Pelfreys should never have lent their vehicle to Spears, who it says is an unfit driver.

State Farm is seeking an unspecified judgment against the defendants, plus pre-judgment interest, costs and attorney's fees.

It will be represented by Andrew N. Frye III of Martin and Seibert in Martinsburg.

The case has been assigned to Cabell Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 09-C-729

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