Victim's father sues both drivers involved in 1991 fatal accident

September 02, 1992

A week after Henry Nutter's mother testified in defense of the man who was driving the car in which her son died, the young man's father sued the drivers of both cars involved in the accident for $1 million each.

Robert L. Nutter filed the suit yesterday in Circuit Court, charging that Rodney L. Truman, 19, of Crownsville, and Michele M. Fredericks, 20, were "careless, reckless and negligent" as they raced down St. Stephens Church Road the night of Aug. 26, 1991.

Henry Nutter, 19, was a passenger in Truman's car when it crossed the center line, raced next to Ms. Fredericks' car, then skidded off the right side of the road and hit a tree about 11:45 p.m., shortly after all three had left a beer party in a woods off St. Stephens Church Road. The party had been broken up by police, court records show.

Truman was convicted last week of reckless driving and driving while intoxicated, but cleared of auto manslaughter and homicide by motor vehicle. During his trial, Carmen Christian, the victim's mother, testified that Truman was her son's best friend and had always been truthful with her.

Ms. Fredericks has been charged with drunken driving.

The suit, filed by attorney Jeffrey J. Plum, alleges that both drivers were "operating their motor vehicles at an unreasonable speed given the conditions" and that they "entered into a drag race."

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