A Lawsuit Filed A Year After A Crash

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

It was a crash that claimed the life of a teenager and left a Lexington high school in mourning. Jesse Higgenbotham died and two other Dunbar students were hurt when they crashed on Versailles Road near Keeneland last year.

The families of the two passengers in that car have now filed a lawsuit.

The suit was filed Friday. The defendants are the Keeneland Association and Colleen Moureaux, who was the driver of the car that wrecked on Versailles Road near the Keeneland Racecourse in April of last year.

According to the multi-page lawsuit, the parents of Jesse Higginbotham and Mercedes Hopewell who were passengers in the car are seeking an unspecified amount of damages from the Keeneland Association and the driver of the car, Colleen Moureaux.

Higginbotham died in the crash, Hopewell is still recovering from serious injuries.

Police said, Moureaux lost control of her car on Versailles Road after her rear tire blew-out. The car ran off the road hitting a pickup truck owned by Keeneland which was parked on the side of the road.

Police say the Keeneland employee had stopped to work on an electronic sign.

The lawsuit claims the Keeneland vehicle was negligently or illegally parked in and emergency lane. It also claims Moureaux operated her vehicle in a careless and negligent manner after the blow-out.

The attorney for the Higginbothams says damages would include everything from pain and suffering to funeral expenses and Jesse's likely income earnings as a software designer.

The attorney says Hopewell is seeking past and future medical expenses as well as emotional damages.

Keeneland declined to comment on the pending legal matter.

The attorney for Higginbotham's family and for Hopewell says it was necessary to include the teenage driver, Colleen Moureaux as part of the lawsuit because of certain legal rules involving liability. Hopewell just completed her first-year at U-K.

A jury trial is expected, but there is no word on when it might start.


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  • by Get Informed on May 22, 2008 at 04:39 PM
    “Do What???” Are you SERIOUS? I think common sense can see that if THAT truck had not been parked illegally on the side of the road then when she had her ACCIDENT, she would have had the EMERGENCY LANE (where you go for ACCIDENTS not PARKING) to go to. So yeah pretty easy to guarantee that if it wasn’t there, she wouldn't have hit it, don’tcha think? Speaking of common sense--your statement of "a truck being parked does not stop a tire blow-out" makes about as much sense as your next statement. So what "bigger tragedy" did that truck stop by being parked illegally? Did it keep the kid from being MORE dead or what? I am struggling with seeing your reasoning here. Please enlighten us. We should all break the laws, in the spirit of stopping bigger tragedies. I’ll try this when I caught for speeding-“But your Honor—think of what might have happened had I driven the speed limit! Think of all the tragedies I avoided!”If only “Do What???” was the Judge otherwise my fine would be doubled.
  • by Do What?? Location: Here on May 16, 2008 at 05:55 AM
    Can anyone say ACCIDENT? No matter what speed, having a blow out is hard to control. Get Informed...Can you guarantee or even prove that if that truck had not been there that this would not have happened? A truck being parked does not stop a tire blow-out. Who is to say that the truck did not stop an even bigger tragedy?
  • by Get Informed Location: Lexington on May 15, 2008 at 09:31 AM
    First of all, Terri, the young girl driving will not go to "jail" because this is a civil case--not a criminal case. You cannot be sentenced to "jail" in a civil case. There is no such thing as "guilty" is a civil case. Second, the driver had INSURANCE. That is who they are suing. This is not going to "ruin her life" nor is she going to "lose everything she has for the rest of her life". They are not going to try to hang her. The language used in this suit is the standard language used is almost every car wreck case. Go to the courthouse and read any car wreck complaint--you will see the same language for them all. It is not anything specific to this case nor is it a personal attack on the driver. I am sure his family realizes that she did not do it on purpose. However, their child is dead and he shouldn’t be. If it were my child, I would do the same thing. And as for the Keeneland guy, had he not been parked illegally on the side of the road, none of this would have happened.
  • by Betty on May 15, 2008 at 04:23 AM
    Colleen, You are in my prayers. You did nothing wrong. This was an accident. Try not to let these people get you down.
  • by Wesley Location: Pike Co KY on May 14, 2008 at 07:09 PM
    This is stupid..It also claims Moureaux operated her vehicle in a careless and negligent manner after the blow-out. and that is just (edited) does anyone think they could controll a car like nothing happen when a tire blew out.. this is jus a hunt for money.. and they should be ashamed of them selves... the kid could not help it.. it is sad that the kid died and the other got injured.. but come on ppl seriously this is just a money scam.. like it isnt hard enough on the girl to see one of her friends die.. the parents should be ashamed to stoop to this level to get money out of their dead child!!
  • by Blame game on May 14, 2008 at 05:10 PM
    I'm confused? The Higgenbothams are talking about what a wonderful girl that poor child was who died while speeding on a country road during the school day, also killing another and yet they're dragging Miss Moureaux through a jury trial. Their son was riding with someone who was trying to do all the right things and sadly had a tire blowout. It seems horrible to say but maybe it's best the roller coaster road driver didn't have to live through what Moureaux is having to live through. Guilt and pain and being made out to be a reckless murderer. My thoughts are with her and her parents as they face this.
  • by Anonymous on May 14, 2008 at 04:56 PM
    This is just crazy. I guess the families need the money and do not care who they destroy in the process. It was an accident; plain and simple. Money will make all things better for some. I have much sympathy for the driver, the deceased and the injured; but, I have no respect for those involved in the lawsuit. You should be ashamed.
  • by Dora Location: Nicholasville on May 14, 2008 at 02:11 PM
    I know the father in this case. He is not a drug addict!!! He works everyday and has for years. He has his reason for this lawsuit and who are we to question it. There might be more to the case then the 'media' knows. I don't know and only the parties involved know. Pray for the families involved and let the man upstairs do the rest.
  • by Terri Location: Lexington on May 14, 2008 at 01:50 PM
    I am glad Hopewell is doing better and just finished her first year at UK. This certainly doesn't sound like emotional damage to me. The driver on the other hand did not go to college, she is still suffering emotional damage by the adults in this situation trying to asage their guilt by ruining the young girl's life. Yes...their guilt! They let their child ride in the car with a teenage driver. Everyone knows teenage drivers don't have the experience to handle a car in these types of emergencies. Shame on you! Is the money going to bring your child back? Would you still be bringing this lawsuit if Keeneland wasn't involved? Is it worth sending a child to jail and/or causing her family to lose everything? Shame on the attorney, as well, I guess it's OK to ruin a kid's life as long as you stay within the law, and make a few bucks along the way.
  • by Doug Location: London on May 14, 2008 at 01:38 PM
    To sue anyone they have to include the driver of the car but to say it was anyones fault because a blown tire caused a wreck is STUPID! Any judge or jury that give this family anything needs their heads checked. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! HELLO!
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