Parents of girl killed in accident sue driver

Man also faces trial on criminal charges from the crash on Route 100

August 14, 2002|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

The parents of a 4-year-old girl killed in an accident last month filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit yesterday against the 33-year-old driver who investigators allege was driving drunk when he crashed into their car.

Mohamed Farag Younis and Ghada Abdelraouf Elmetwally claim that Marcos P.S. Amaya had too much to drink and was impaired when he got behind the wheel of a Jeep on July 13.

The lawsuit claims wrongful death and asks for $10 million in damages.

The crash killed 4-year-old Nadine Mohamed Younis and seriously injured her parents and her sisters -- Nouran Mohamed Younis, 6, and Yara Mohamed Younis, 15 months, according to the lawsuit.

Nadine's parents and sisters have been released from the hospital.

Nadine's mother has had a "tough time" since her daughter's death, and Mohamed Younis is "doing remarkably well, but it is what I would call strength out of necessity," said William E. Erskine, the family's lawyer.

Erskine said the early filing of the lawsuit -- on the same day Amaya was in Howard Circuit Court on a bail review hearing for criminal charges related to the crash -- will aid his own investigation of the accident.

Amaya, of the 3900 block of 56th Ave. in Hyattsville, is facing 18 criminal charges -- ranging from negligent manslaughter by automobile to various alcohol and traffic offenses -- as a result of the crash.

Investigators allege that Amaya was drunk when his Jeep Cherokee crossed the median strip on Route 100 at Executive Park Drive on July 13 and crashed into a Nissan Sentra driven by Mohamed Younis, according to charging documents.

Witnesses later told police that Amaya was "swerving all over the road" and "cutting people off" before the crash, according to the documents.

Amaya's breath smelled of alcohol on the scene and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, according to the documents.

He later told police that he drank "at least" five alcoholic beverages, according to the documents.

During a bail review yesterday, prosecutor Danielle Duclaux said Amaya's blood alcohol content was measured at 0.19 -- more than twice the legal limit.

Two weeks after the accident, Amaya was released on $50,000 bond. Yesterday, Duclaux asked that figure be increased, but Judge Diane O. Leasure kept the amount the same. However, Leasure ordered that Amaya, a Honduran immigrant seeking asylum in the United States, be placed on pretrial supervision.

The criminal case is scheduled for trial Dec. 2.

Neither Amaya nor Heidi Connolly, his public defender for the criminal case, could be reached yesterday for comment.

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