It was April 5, 2013, and New Jersey resident Patrick Hayes, 53 years old, was walking home with his friend, Clarence McKinsey, 50 years old. The two gentlemen walked along Route II in the early morning hours, around 4:00 a.m.
Their lives changed when Claude Stoots, 53 years old, hit the men with his snowplow. Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene. McKinsey was injured, and recently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the snowplow driver and the company he worked for.
Men Hit by Snowplow In Early Morning Hours
According to SWVa Today, McKinsey filed the new lawsuit in Wythe County Circuit Court on April 6, 2015. He claims that the driver, Stoots, and his employer, Rambo’s Backhoe Service, are both liable for the injuries he suffered in the 2013 accident.
He states that after he and Hayes were hit by the snowplow, he suffered injuries in his hip, forearm, shoulder, and spine. These injuries cost him in excess of $150,000 in medical expenses, which he wants to recover. He adds that he suffered emotional stress as well because of Hayes’ death.
The police report mentioned that the two men were wearing dark clothing when they were walking along Route 11, but they weren’t doing anything wrong or illegal when they were hit by the snowplow.
Accidents Happen with Snowplows
Accidents where pedestrians are hit by snowplows are not as rare as one may believe. In February 2015, two men were injured in separate accidents involving snowplows. The first occurred in Mechanic Falls, Maine. A 54-year-old man was pumping gas into his tanker truck when he was hit from behind by a snowplow and pushed up against the tanker. He suffered significant leg injuries.
The second incident occurred in Worcester, Massachusetts, when a 53-year-old man driving a Budget rental truck was struck by snow pushed off a bridge above him. The impact shattered his window and caused numerous lacerations on his face.
A third incident occurred in Virginia, also in February 2015. A bicyclist was on her way to her job at Target at about 5:30 in the morning when she was hit by a snowplow and killed.
In November 2014, the family of a man who was killed in a snowplow accident reached a settlement in its lawsuit against the city of Reading, Pennsylvania, for $425,000. In that incident, the man was hit and killed by the vehicle when he was crossing the street.
Chance of Injury with Snowplows
Winter weather conditions and inattentive snowplow drivers can together create danger for other vehicles and pedestrians. Drivers who are going too fast, aren’t paying attention, haven’t been trained properly, or are operating defective equipment are more likely to be involved in accidents that injure others.
Though some incidents may involve city-owned snowplows, independent contractors may also be involved. These companies have a responsibility for hiring experienced and careful drivers with safe equipment.
In September 2014, for example, the family of a woman killed by a snowplow filed a new lawsuit against the town of Boone, North Carolina and driver Robert Rominger, who was unable to stop his vehicle when the brakes didn’t work at an intersection. The family also claimed in their lawsuit that the driver was going too fast for the conditions and failed to keep a good lookout, and that the company had failed to properly maintain their vehicles.
The man in the New Jersey lawsuit mentioned at the beginning of this article seeks more than one million dollars in damages.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.