Family Of Emergency Official Killed In Crash Files $10 Million Lawsuit

She died on the job after a coal truck slammed into her.

Now, the family of an eastern Kentucky EMS official says the company who owns that truck owes them millions.

Johnson County EMS Director Christa Burchett was helping Erica Brown, a pregnant woman, when the truck lost control and hit them on Highway 460 last month. Brown also died.

Monday, Burchett's family filed a lawsuit, saying the crash could have been prevented.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of her 15-year-old daughter, seeks $10 million from M & R Trucking, who owns the truck.

In the lawsuit, Burchett's family blames the driver of the coal truck, Leslie Spence, for driving too fast. It also blames M & R for not properly maintaining it.

The suit also refers to a charge police filed against Spence for driving under adverse conditions. Roads on January 22, the day of the crash, were reported to be wet, icy, and treacherous.

Spence's attorney says his client will plead not guilty to that charge next week.

The attorney, along with M & R officials, declined comment on the lawsuit.

But M & R officials say department of transportation workers did not find any problems during a safety audit last week.


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  • by ? Location: Ky on Feb 8, 2008 at 05:41 AM
    To Honest Truth....You are a saint RIGHT???You talk about not blaming the officer...how wrong that would be....You are doing the same thing blaming the truck driver. MY GOD it was an accident. Regardless of road conditions ect.Did you realize the ex-husband is the one filing the lawsuit?How well will he live on her death? As smart as you seem I would say you have driven an unsafe vehicle at one time or another and wasn't smart enough to know!There is a BIG differnce in pointing a loaded gun and doing you DAILY job. Get real "Honest" the trucker did not mean to wreck. After all, he was in danger as well. DUH You should be ashamed. The truck driver is going thru a hell of his own right now and all you people are only making it worse. Why can't everyone just keep their nose out of it and see it for what it was, an Accident. I would say the mom wouldn't want the ex to live off of her death.GREED.That is the word of the day.
  • by MOM Location: EASTERN KY on Feb 7, 2008 at 09:48 PM
    ARE YOU ALL DONE NOW? HOW DARE YOU JUDGE THE FAMILIES OF THE PARAMEDIC AND PREGNANT MOTHER? AND , MISS NEWS REPORTER, YOUR FACTS ARE WRONG.....3 LIVES WERE LOST. AS FOR THOSE WORRYING ABOUT THE TRUCK DRIVER, MOST ARE INSURED FOR AT LEAST 1 MIL. MOST LAWSUITS SETTLE FOR MUCH LESS THAN THE INITIAL SUIT AMOUNT. CHRISTA'S DAUGHTER DESERVES TO RECEIVE A COLLEGE EDUCATION AND A SECURE FUTURE. ERICA DID TOO. SHE WORKED FULL TIME AND WENT TO SCHOOL FULL TIME. SHE IS SURVIVED BY TWO NEPHEWS AND AN UNBORN NEPHEW/NEICE, A BROTHER, SISTER, AND OTHER FAMILY THAT WILL FOREVER BE WITHOUT HER. DON'T JUDGE OTHERS, UNLESS YOU WISH TO BE JUDGED. I DROVE THE SAME ROAD , THE SAME DAY, JUST 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE ACCIDENT. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE....THERE WERE NO OVER-LOADED, SPEEDING COAL TRUCKS BEHIND ME. MY SON-IN-LAW MADE THE DECISION TO TURN HIS COAL TRUCK AROUND AND GO HOME DUE TO THE ROAD CONDITIONS THAT DAY. HE CONSIDERS ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE ON THE ROAD AND THINKS MORE OF THE SAFETY OF OTHERS.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 7, 2008 at 08:42 PM
    Whats sad is i know a piece of this puzzle that has never been mentioned. In this curve was a car stopped for reasons unknown, maybe to be nosy maybe to help. The truck came around the corner saw the car that was stopped in the road, and hit his breaks to keep from read ending said vehicle. The car drives off and is not seen or heard from since. Are they more liable than the rest? but the is an unknown variable, that prolly had no idea whet happened after they pulled away until they watched the news that night. But see this is a story that I don't know as a witness to be true but I know what I heard.
  • by AFRAID OF TRUCKS Location: Lexington on Feb 7, 2008 at 01:40 PM
    First of all, what lawyer would take on such a lawsuit if there was not evidence of the truck speed or maintenance. Accident recreation can give a pretty accurate indication of a vehicle's speed in an accident. Not all truck drivers are irresponsible. However, I have been cut off twice by trucks in the past week. If I had not been aware of the situation, I would have been in the median. Most truck drivers have one goal - get to there destination in as little time as possible. These people need to respect the fact that they are driving massive machines that would most likely kill someone in an accident. This girl has every right to sue. Its unfortunate that it takes this type of tragedy and a threat to someones "pocketbook" to prove a point.
  • by A child on Feb 7, 2008 at 11:40 AM
    loses a mom and you guys are still arguing about the truck driver? Yes sir, that's why people think we ain't nuttin but a bunch o'hillbillies from the holler over thar! SHEESH, grow up people!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 7, 2008 at 11:25 AM
    To more honest truth,location ashamed in E.Kentucky.Is there a law making you live in E.Kentucky?If i was so ashamed of where i live,I WOULD MOVE.People really (edited) me off getting on here talking about how they are ashamed of Eastern Kentucky.If you don't like it LEAVE.
  • by wondering hillbillie Location: eastern ky on Feb 7, 2008 at 06:29 AM
    wondering if anyone thought about who is suing on behalf of the daughter? i read in the newspaper it was the ex husband.
  • by More honest truth Location: ashamed in E. Kentucky on Feb 6, 2008 at 03:24 PM
    To ? and Unknown in Kentucky, it doesn't matter if he didn't know the roads were icy or not. That’s the main point. It’s also the law. That's like saying "he didn't know the gun was loaded, what's wrong with him pointing it at someone. He didn’t mean to shoot anyone". In a civil court, you can be judged by what the facts were at the time of the incident, not what you did or did not know. Furthermore, nobody can point a finger at me because I do not speed, nor do I travel too fast for road condition, nor do I travel in a unsafe vehicle. If you do one of the above, and hurt someone because of your negligence, then you are at fault~morally and legally. As for the lawsut, not only will it give the families financial support that they will now never receive, due to their loved one being killed, it also serves as a deterrent to anyone else who drives in a unsafe manner. As far the officer being blamed, well, here we go again. Blaming everyone but the one who committed the act... So sad.
  • by A voice of reason Location: crying out in the night on Feb 6, 2008 at 02:08 PM
    This is for all those naysayers who claim it was just a accident because the roads were slick, it was snowing, the roads were ice covered, etc. It doesn't matter how fast he was going, if he couldn't stop because he was in a blind curve, the coal company negelected the truck, or any other reason you can think up. The fact of the matter is, if you lose control of your vehicle (doesn't matter if it's a coal truck or car) because of weather related conditions you can be issued a citation. Why? Because you are not suppose to be traveling so fast (doesn't matter if it was 5mph or 55mph) that you cannot control your vehicle--This also includes stopping if need be. Why are some obvilious to the law? I'm glad that some people actually understand our road laws, however many need to retake Drivers Ed. If there is one good thing to come from this, the coal trucks have slowed down ALOT in the past week. I travel US 23 between P-burg and Ashland daily. They are now going much slower than before.
  • by Unknown Location: KY on Feb 6, 2008 at 01:48 PM
    No, the driver was not drunk and no the driver was not on drugs and no he wasnt doing the speed limit...he was going alot slower than the speed limit was. The fact of the matter is you put a loaded coal truck together with icy conditions and a blind curve, where there are cars and medical emergency vehicle parked with nobody flagging traffic, that all equals a horrible accident. Nothing could have prevented this. Unless of course the cop was doing his job and was flagging traffic way before you started into the curve, which he wasnt doing at all. It doesnt seem like it is all the truck drivers fault in my opinion. Too many factors contributed to the accident and there shoudl not be a blame game taking place and there should really NOT be a lawsuit for $10 million dollars. No amount of money will bring back the lives of those lost... Greed is the root of all evil in my eyes....

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