Clarksville man sued after hitting pedestrian

December 31, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

An Ellicott City man and his wife have sued the driver of a car that struck the man while he was walking along Old Frederick Road earlier this month.

David and Ruth Kuhns are seeking $1.4 million in damages in the Dec. 13 incident, according to a suit filed Dec. 18 in Howard Circuit Court.

The Kuhns' suit alleges that the defendant -- Hasan Huseyin Babaturk, 36, of Clarksville -- was negligent when he lost control of his 1986 Chrysler Conquest and struck Mr. Kuhns.

The suit contends that Mr. Babaturk was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the crash. Police have filed numerous charges against the defendant, including several drug counts.

Mr. Babaturk could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Kuhns, 51, was walking west near Raleigh Tavern Lane when Babaturk went off the road and struck him from behind at 8:40 p.m., the suit says.

Mr. Kuhns was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was treated for broken legs and minor injuries, said Patrick Cullen, a Baltimore attorney for the Kuhns.

Mr. Cullen said Mr. Kuhns, an executive at McCormick & Co. in Hunt Valley, must undergo at least two additional surgical procedures, including a bone graft, to repair his legs.

The attorney did not have an estimate of the plaintiff's medical expenses.

The Kuhns, who have been married for about 30 years, contend in the suit that the accident has caused "damage to their marital relationship."

The Kuhns have requested a jury trial.

The suit has been assigned to Circuit Judge James Dudley, but no hearings have been scheduled.

Mr. Babaturk is to stand trial April 20 in Howard District Court on charges of driving under the influence of drugs and possession of marijuana and hashish. He also is charged with providing a false statement to police and driving on a revoked license.

A police report filed in District Court alleges that officers found marijuana and hashish in Mr. Babaturk's pocket after they arrived at the accident scene.

"[Mr. Babaturk] appeared on the nod and lethargic," the police report says. "The subject walked very unsteadily and swayed as he walked."

Mr. Babaturk underwent a drug test that showed he was under the influence of depressants and cannabis, the report says.

According to the police report, Mr. Babaturk told officers he took one Xanax pill, a prescription drug classified as a hypnotic and used to treat insomnia and other conditions, about four hours before striking Mr. Kuhns.

The defendant initially gave police his brother's name as his own, the report says.

Police said Mr. Babaturk later told the officers he used his brother's name because he was afraid they would learn his drivers license had been revoked.

Mr. Babaturk was released from the county detention center after posting $5,000 bond.

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