Woman sues Monongalia Co. man for sister’s death

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 14, 2013

MORGANTOWN – A woman is suing a Monongalia County man after she claims he is responsible for the death of her sister.

On March 4, 2011, at approximately 11 p.m., Cynthia Bittengle was traveling on Interstate 79 in Washington, South Strabane Township, Pa., in her 2001 Mitsubishi Montero in the left northbound lane, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Mary Hanson, the administratrix of Bittengle’s estate, claims John W. Cruse was operating a 2008 Dodge Charger in the left northbound lane on Interstate 79 and was behind Bittengle’s vehicle.

Cruse negligently and/or recklessly failed to notice that Bittengle’s vehicle had slowed down and struck the rear of her vehicle, according to the suit.

Hanson claims the collision was so violent and forceful as to cause Bittengle’s vehicle to be thrust sideways, through the grassy median and into the southbound lane of travel on the Interstate, at which point it rolled twice across the southbound lanes.

At some point during the vehicle’s rolls, Bittengle was ejected from the vehicle, according to the suit.

Hanson claims the force of the impact that was caused by Cruse’s negligent and/or reckless misconduct caused significant personal and bodily injuries that were fatal to Bittengle.

Bittengle was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and it was later determined that the cause of her death was “massive blunt force trauma of the head, chest and abdomen,” which were sustained in the March 4, 2011, collision, according to the suit.

Hanson is seeking judgment against Cruse in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of the court. She is being represented by Daniel C. Cooper and Jamison H. Cooper of Cooper Law Offices.

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