BECKLEY – Two siblings are suing Petroleum Marketers, Inc., in federal court after they claim it caused a car accident that ultimately caused their mother’s death.

PM Terminals, Inc., was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Sept. 14, Charolette Saunders left her home in Evans to drive to Asheville, N.C., for the fall meeting of the National Association of ASCS/FSA Retired County Employees, and her mother, Tressie W. Casto, went with her to keep her company, according to a complaint filed Jan. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Beckley.

Lanny E. Casto, Saunders’ brother, is the personal representative of the Estate of Tressie Casto.

While on Interstate 81 in Smyth County, Va., Charles E. Cox, an employee of the defendants, negligently crossed the center line into Saunders’ lane and forced her vehicle off the highway and onto the shoulder, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim Cox then steered the defendants’ oil truck into the right-hand lane, colliding with the rear-end of a black Chevrolet Sonic driven by Amber Brooke Kestner, turning her vehicle sideways and forcing it at a high rate of speed into the left-hand lane toward Saunders and Tressie Casto.

Kestner’s vehicle forced Saunders’ vehicle off the highway and caused it to flip violently multiple times and ultimately land upended in the median, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim Saunders sustained crushing injuries to her lower body and other serious and grievous permanent injuries, and Tressie Casto died as a result of injuries she sustained from the crash.

Cox failed to keep a proper lookout in the direction in which he was proceeding and failed to take due observation of the situation so as to avoid driving into Saunders’ lane and causing the collision, according to the suit.

The defendants are liable for Cox’s actions as he was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the collision, according to the suit.

Saunders and Lanny Casto are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Thomas R. Goodwin, Johnny M. Knisely II, W. Jeffrey Vollmer and Benjamin B. Ware.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Beckley case number: 5:13-cv-1134

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