HUNTINGTON -- An Ohio woman is suing LTD Logistics, Inc. and Daimler Trucks North America, LLC for the wrongful deaths of three of her family members.
Christopher S. Grizzell and the personal representative of the Estate of Christopher W. Rodgers were also named as defendants in the suit.
On April 7, 2010, Grizzell was operating a 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Rodgers was operating a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu and Wayne Richard Lawrence Jr. was operating a 2009 Freightliner Columbia truck tractor that was owned by LTD Logistics and manufactured by Daimler, according to a complaint filed Oct. 11 in Cabell Circuit Court.
Ginger Elaine Lawrence and Kelsie Emily Lawrence were passengers in the freightliner with Wayne Richard Lawrence Jr.
Wanda Frances Lawrence, personal representative of the Estates of Ginger Lawrence, Kelsie Lawrence and Wayne Lawrence, claims when Grizzell attempted to switch lanes, Rodgers' vehicle collided into his, causing both vehicles to travel across the westbound lanes of Interstate-64, through the median and cable barrier and into the path of the Lawrences' vehicle.
Grizzell and Rodgers' vehicles collided with the Lawrence vehicle, impacting at or near the fuel tank, according to the suit.
Wanda Lawrence claims as a result of the impact, the fuel tank was breached and diesel fuel escaped, causing an explosion that engulfed the truck's cab in flames.
After impact with Grizzell and Rodgers' vehicles, the freightliner truck continued to travel east on Interstate-64, with the cab of the truck engulfed in flames, and eventually struck the guardrail and came to rest in the emergency lane against the guardrail, according to the suit.
Wanda Lawrence claims Rodgers died at the scene and that later, Wayne Lawrence, Ginger Lawrence, Kelsie Lawrence's bodies were found, showing they died at the scene from severe burns and smoke inhalation.
Grizzell caused his vehicle to collide with Rodgers' vehicle, thereby triggering the chain of events ultimately leading to the collision with the Lawrence vehicle, according to the suit.
The defendants failed to operate their vehicles, were negligent and caused the wrongful deaths of the Lawrences, according to the suit.
Wanda Lawrence claims the freightliner truck was not reasonably safe for its intended use due to the placement of the battery system and/or lack of battery cut-off system.
The defendants' actions caused the deaths of the Lawrences' and caused the plaintiff's family mental anguish and loss of services, protection, care and assistance provided, according to the suit.
Wanda Lawrence is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Michael T. Collis and Ryan J. Duty.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.
Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-757