Driver Runs Stop Sign, Causing Fatal Crash

Date: July 19, 2010
Location: Highway 42 & Brockway Road near Winston, Oregon
Names: Kaila L. Boyer, Dudley L. Lenhart, Jesse W. James

A 22-year-old woman died, and two people were seriously injured, after a driver ran a stop sign, and the pickup truck he was driving was hit by a dump truck, according to an OSP press release.

On July 19, 2010, around 10:30 AM, a pickup truck driven by Jesse W. James, 23, of Riddle, Oregon, was traveling north on Brockway Road just west of Winston. When the truck came to the intersection with Highway 42, witnesses said, it failed to stop for the stop sign. A dump truck driven by Dudley L. Lenhart, 58, of Tenmile, struck the passenger side of the pickup. The impact caused the dump truck to veer off the road. It struck an ODOT message board before overturning in a pasture by the side of the highway.

Kaila L. Boyer, 22, of Riddle, who was riding in the pickup truck, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The pickup driver, James, was airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland with critical injuries.

The dump truck driver, Lenhart, was seriously injured. He was taken by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

OSP troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office are continuing to investigate, assisted by a crash reconstructionist.

We send prayers to everyone involved in this crash, including Lenhart and James, with special prayers going to Kaila Boyer’s family and friends.

A funeral service for Kaila was held on July 26 at Coos Bay Chapel. In an obituary from NR Today, Kaila is remembered as a strong, beautiful and independent young woman with kindness and humor. She loved fishing and being in the outdoors. She had many friends and a loving family, including her mother, Roberta Wright; stepfather, Michael Wright; and father, Martin Akins.

We hope you will never need this information, but if the worst happens and a loved one dies in a car crash, here are a few things to know:

Wrongful death claims are allowed by law. ORS 30.010-30.100.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is tricky. It is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .” In other words, it’s not three years from the date of death; it’s three years from the date of the original injury that ultimately caused the death. If a person goes into a coma from a car crash, and dies eight months later, the case will have to be brought within three years from the date of the car crash, not from the date of the death.

If a city, state, county, or other public body is being sued, a Tort Claim Notice must be received by the entity being sued within 180 days of the injury.

Compensation available includes charges for medical expenses; memorial and burial services; compensation for the person’s pain, suffering, disability, and loss of income from the time of the injury through the time of death; financial losses to the person’s family or other heirs; compensation for the loss of companionship and services to the person’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents; and punitive damages may sometimes be available as well.

The law caps the amount of noneconomic damages at $500,000. This does not apply to economic damages, which are not capped.

For more information on what to do in the case of an Oregon accident, contact our office or read our free book, 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case.