We represent Paul’s family. He tragically died last year. He was traveling with his wife near Potosi Missouri on highway 185 when they encountered a car crash.
Being the kind of guy Paul was, he stopped his car and got out to help. He was walking to the top of a ridge to flag oncoming vehicles when he was hit and killed. He was walking in the center of the highway.
Devon DeClue was responding to the first accident on behalf of the Potosi Fire Protection District. As the police report states, DeClue:
- was traveling south on Missouri 185. Paul was walking north in the Center of Missouri Highway 185. After cresting a hill, DeClue inattentive to the roadway ahead and observed Vehicle 1 stopped. DeClue applied his brakes and steered left, in an attempt to avoid a collision with Vehicle 1. But, was unsuccessful.
- DeClue’s Vehicle began to skid, crossed the centerline, and the front right of DeClue’s Vehicle collided with the rear left of Vehicle 1. Paul began running to the east road edge of Missouri 185. DeClue’s Vehicle traveled across the center of Missouri 185 and its front right collided with Paul.
- DeClue’s Vehicle travels off the roadway and collided with a fence and trees and came to a rest in a field off the east road edge facing southeast.
It was a tough case in that Paul was in the middle of the highway and DeClue was responding to an emergency as a volunteer EMT.
But the reconstruction stated DeClue was going 60 mph at a minimum. This was not that fast on a highway. But I went to the scene and took these pictures:
DeClue should only have been going 45 mph.
The reconstruction report also correctly noted that DeClue was “responding with the fire department to assist with the first crash and should have been aware a crash was in the area.”
We noted that multiple other cars were able to successfully stop without hitting Paul or other cars. All of the witnesses listed on the police report state they saw Paul, knew he was flagging down cars, and were all able to stop safely.
We filed suit and engaged in discovery. We negotiated with the other side and were able to agree to a settlement. The money will go into a structured settlement for Pauls sons and his wife. Such a sad case to handle.
So lucky to be able to help the family – we also had to open a probate case to get Paul’s life insurance proceeds. And lucky to help provide financial security for them in the face of this tragedy.
I took the following video of the path of the defendant:
Legally in a case like this we navigate sovereign and official immunity, as discussed in the next article.
Below that is a video Paul’s widow and I did after we returned from the court approval hearing of the wrongful death case.