Trooper's family files wrongful death suit following fatal crash
5 months, 1 week ago
The suit alleges DOT Foods acted improperly; Company issues a statement in response to the suit
The widow of an Illinois State Trooper who was killed when he was hit by a semi filed a wrongful death suit on Wednesday against a trucking company and the truck's driver.
Trooper Kyle Deatherage was killed on Nov. 26 while he was executing a traffic stop in Interstate 55 near Litchfield. Johnny B. Felton was driving a tractor-trailer for DOT Foods when he hit Deatherage, killing him.
The suit was filed on behalf of Kyle Deatherage's widow, Sarah, in Madison County, where Deatherage lived, by Swansea attorney Thomas Q. Keefe.
The suit alleges DOT Foods acted improperly because it allowed Felton to drive a truck when he was an "imminent danger to the public." The suit further alleges that Felton operated a truck when he knew he was "medically unfit to do so."
The Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) investigation of the accident on I-55 which took the life of Illinois State Trooper Kyle Deatherage is still underway. There has been speculation that the DTI driver’s medical condition may have played a role in causing this accident. However, DTI’s internal investigation has revealed that the DTI driver involved in this accident was operating under a valid medical card issued by a U.S. Department of Transportation certified physician. It is DTI’s policy that no driver will drive for DTI unless he or she has a valid medical card and is in full compliance with the Federal Motor Safety Act.
DTI’s investigation has also revealed that DTI was not informed of and unaware of any reason which would indicate this driver was unable to safely operate DTI’s truck or disqualify him as an interstate truck driver under the Department of Transportation regulations. DTI will not release details of the driver’s medical condition out of respect for the employee’s privacy.
The driver in question is a 25 year veteran of the armed forces who rose to the rank of sergeant and commanded 80 troops. He was hired by DTI after an honorable discharge and had a clean driving record at the time of hire.
The Dot Foods and DTI family continue to express their deepest sympathies to the family of the Illinois patrolman.