The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
New trials have been granted in connection with two wrongful death lawsuits involving the crash that caused the death of two volunteer firefighters in July 26, 2010.
Although no court order has been entered, notes in the court records indicate that Circuit Court Judge W.N. Alexander II will set new trials in the case of Christie Altice-Weaver against Teri Anne Valentine and the estate of Posey Dillon.
Altice-Weaver is the daughter of firefighter Danny Altice, 67, one of the two firefighters killed in the crash.
Valentine, the driver of the SUV that struck the fire truck at the intersection of Route 40 and School Board Road, was found negligent by a jury in September and was ordered to pay only $9,984.37 for funeral and burial expenses for Altice.
Altice-Weaver, the executor of Altice's estate, was seeking $2 million, plus "taxable costs with interest."
According to court records, money should have also been awarded to the son, daughter and granddaughter of Danny Altice.
The same jury found in favor of Posey Dillon's estate in September, finding no negligence on his part in the crash. Dillon was driving the fire truck at the time and also died of his injuries.
According to the court records, Alexander erred in the earlier trial by not allowing more specific testimony by an expert witness for Altice-Weaver in her case against the Dillon estate.
Dillon and Altice, who was riding in the passenger seat, were en route to a structure fire in Union Hall. Both were thrown from the fire truck during the crash. Neither man was wearing a seatbelt.
The Virginia State Police investigation determined that Valentine had a green light and the fire truck slowed at the intersection but did not stop. No charges were filed.
Witnesses in the earlier trials testified that Valentine entered the intersection on a green light and struck the rear back side of the fire truck, pushing the fire truck into the curb, causing the fire truck to roll three times before it came to a halt on the hood of another vehicle.