Woman who miscarried in crash sues truck driver, employer for $2 million

March 05, 1995|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

A 21-year-old Westminster woman whose seven-month pregnancy ended when she was involved in a five-vehicle crash on Route 140 in November has filed a $2 million lawsuit against the tractor-trailer driver charged with causing the accident and his employer.

Patricia V. Lewis of the 900 block of Charles St. filed her suit last week in Carroll Circuit Court.

The defendants are James L. Knight of the 3000 block of Sams Creek Road in New Windsor and Specified Commodity Carriers Inc. of Finksburg, the company for which Mr. Knight was driving Nov. 3 when his rig ran over a compact convertible and trapped two people inside.

The chain-reaction crash on Route 140 sent Ms. Lewis, her 15-month-old daughter, Vanessa, and the driver of another car to trauma centers in Baltimore. It also tied up traffic for hours

Ms. Lewis miscarried during the accident, police records indicate.

"This was a horrible accident," said William D. Kurtz, the lawyer who represents the woman. "Ms. Lewis is still having tremendous trouble dealing with the loss of her child."

Ms. Lewis and her daughter were trapped inside their Geo Metro convertible after the tractor-trailer slammed into the rear of the small car and ran over the top of it.

The impact pushed the Geo into the rear of a heavy-duty pickup truck, overturning the truck on another automobile, which in turn struck another pickup truck, police reported.

Ms. Lewis claims in the lawsuit that the accident was caused by Mr. Knight's "gross negligence." The suit says that she underwent surgery as a result of the wreck, that the accident terminated her pregnancy and that her daughter required extensive medical treatment.

Westminster police charged Mr. Knight, 38, last month with three traffic violations and six counts of violating motor carrier safety laws involving allegedly defective equipment on his rig.

The traffic charges are reckless driving, negligent driving and failure to control speed to avoid an accident. The charges were served on Mr. Knight Feb. 19.

A person who answered the phone at Specified Commodity Carriers Inc. Friday said no one there could talk about the lawsuit until tomorrow.

Mr. Knight could not be reached for comment.

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