Civil complaint filed in 2013 tractor trailer crash
SUNBURY - The insurance company representing a Shamokin man injured in a four-vehicle accident last year along Route 54 in Ralpho Township has sued the operator of the tractor-trailer involved in the crash and the trucking company for which he worked.
TravCo Insurance Company, which represents David L. Wolfe, of South Sixth Street, filed the civil complaint July 7 against Kovaschetz Trucking LLC, of 2273 Mile High Road, Sunbury, and David P. McGuinn, 54, of 206 Tulip Road, Paxinos, who was driving the rig.
The complaint filed by Attorney Michael J. Dougherty, of Philadelphia, in the Northumberland County prothonotary's office is seeking $22,441.32 in damages plus interest and costs. The damage amount also covers rental charges incurred by Wolfe.
The complaint claims McGuinn negligently, recklessly and/or carelessly caused the accident and damage to Shaw's vehicle.
It states that McGuinn failed to have the tractor-trailer under such control as the situation warranted, operated the vehicle in complete disregard of the point and position of Wolfe's vehicle, failed to keep a proper lookout, traveled too fast for conditions, disregarded traffic control devices and failed to abide by the rules of the road and motor vehicle code of Pennsylvania.
The suit also claims Kovaschetz Trucking, owned by Joshua Seth Kovaschetz, 34, of Sunbury, is liable for the acts and/or omissions of McGuinn.
McGuinn was cited by police for careless driving and two counts of unlawful activities in connection with the March 25, 2013, accident on Route 54 near Farnsworth Camping Center.
The careless driving offense was filed by Ralpho Township Sgt. Chris Kreisher, while the other two counts were filed by Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. George Ritchey March 20 at the office of Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones, Mount Carmel. All three are summary offenses.
McGuinn is scheduled for a hearing Aug. 26 before Jones. He is being represented by attorney Marc Lieberman, of Elysburg.
When contacted about the suit, Lieberman said, "We intend to vindicate Dave (McGuinn) in all these matters."
Last month, Ritchey and Kreisher filed a misdemeanor of recklessly endangering another person and 16 summary equipment violations against Kovaschetz.
The crash left Richard Shaw, of Johnson City, N.Y., confined to a wheelchair. Shaw said in an interview with The News-Item last summer in which he criticized Ralpho police for not having filed charges at that time that he and his wife, Brenda, suffered approximately 25 broken bones in the crash.
According to a report issued by township police, Richard Shaw was driving a Ford Mustang east about 2:30 p.m. when it was rear-ended by the tractor-trailer driven by McGuinn.
The collision forced the Mustang into the westbound lane, where it collided head-on with a Toyota Prius driven by Wolfe. The Prius was subsequently rear-ended by a Dodge Dakota driven by Ricardo Contreras, of Hart Road, Danville.
The Shaws and Wolfe were extricated from their vehicles by emergency responders. Wolfe and two passengers, his wife, Judith Wolfe, and their son, David, all suffered injuries.
McGuinn and Contreras were not injured.