County Sued For Crash That Killed Jarrettsville Woman

November 11, 1990|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

The estate of a Jarrettsville woman killed in a May 1 accident involving a county Office on Aging van and a pickup truck has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the county, the driver of the van and the driver of the truck.

The suit is the second involving the accident. Filed in county Circuit Court on Nov. 2, the suit claims that the county and the drivers were negligent and caused the death of 72-year-old Iona R. Pierce, who was a passenger in the van.

"The injuries suffered by Iona R. Pierce were caused solely by reasons of the negligence of the defendants," according to the suit, filed on behalf of Pierce's estate by Bel Air attorney Bernard P. Kole.

In addition to the county, the suit names Leilonie T. Baer, driver of the county van, and David S. Gorrell of Forest Hill, driver of the pickup, as defendants.

Pierce's estate, represented by Mary J. Kahoe, is seeking $1 million from each of the defendants.

The accident occurred at the intersection of routes 136 and 440 in Dublin.

Residents in the Dublin area have called on the state to improve safety at the intersection. But state officials say any improvements are at least two years away.

Baer stopped the Office on Aging van, which is used to transport senior citizens, at a stop sign on Route 440 and then proceeded through the intersection, a police report says. While in the intersection, the van was struck by Gorrell's truck, police said.

Baer, who pleaded guilty to a charge of negligent driving, told police that she did not see the pickup when she stopped at the intersection, the report says.

Pierce's estate claims that Baer failed to keep a proper lookout for oncoming vehicles and to yield to Gorrell's vehicle. The suit also says Gorrell was speeding at the time of the accident.

Gorrell was not charged in the accident.

Pierce and Casimier Szymanowicz, 72, of Darlington, died as a result of the accident. Five other passengers were injured in the accident.

Pierce, who suffered head injuries, died 27 days after the accident at the Maryland Shock Trauma Unit at University Hospital in Baltimore. The suit claims that Pierce's medical bills totaled $85,000 and the funeral bill was $5,000.

Kahoe, Pierce's daughter, was appointed to represent Pierce's estate by the Circuit Court.

Another passenger in the van, Courtney M. Brooks of Darlington, filed suit Oct. 3, seeking a total of $2.25 million from the county, Baer and Gorrell.

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