MORGANTOWN — A Monongalia County jury awarded the family of a 20-year-old hit and run victim $7.6 million during a three-day trial.
Carli Sears was killed in 2016 after then-19-year-old Alexander Hambrick was drinking and driving and struck her with his truck, before leaving the scene of the crime.
Sears had been visiting friends in Morgantown at the time of her death. She was attending the University of Mississippi.
The jury awarded $3 million, then $2.4 million for wages Sears would have earned in her lifetime and $500,000 for pain and suffering from the time of the accident until her death, according to MetroNews.
Monongalia Circuit Judge Phillip Gaujot granted a motion that mandated Hambrick be responsible for $42,890.89.
Punitive damages were also awarded in the amount of $1.25 million.
Brent Sears filed the civil lawsuit against Hambrick. He claimed that Hambrick was negligent in operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
The family was seeking damages for expected loss of income of Carli Sears, reasonably expected services, expenses for care, treatment, and the hospitalization of Carli Sears, funeral expenses and the pain and suffering and emotional distress caused by the accident and Carli Sears’ death.
Madeleine Wymer, who was walking with Carli Sears when the accident occurred, also filed a lawsuit against Hambrick last January. Wymer’s complaint also lists Hambrick’s parents, Kimberly Hambrick and Brad Hambrick, as well as DC LLC, Michael S. Schuman, the owner of DC LLC, and Thomas H. Vanlandingham.
Wymer claims Hambrick was operating the 1995 Ford F150 when he went onto the sidewalk adjacent to Stewart Street in Morgantown when he struck her and Carli Sears, according to a complaint obtained by The West Virginia Record.
The Sears family was represented by Harvey Peyton and Thomas Peyton of The Peyton Law Firm.
Wymer is represented by Michael J. Del Giudice of Ciccarello, Del Giudice & LaFon.
In his criminal case, Hambrick pleaded guilty in December 2016 to driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident causing death. He was sentenced in February 2017. Hambrick served 11 months at Anthony Correctional Center and six months on home confinement. He remains on probation.