The trash truck driver who struck and killed a woman in a Glen Burnie accident last year pleaded guilty Thursday to negligent manslaughter.
Robert Peter Neal, 55, of Abingdon, was driving a Bay Area Disposal trash truck on Ritchie Highway in June 2016 when he struck the Honda Accord driven by Janet Stomps, 44, of Arnold.
Neal pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent manslaughter and will be sentenced on Nov. 28.
“When someone can take a life and they’re only looking at nothing to two years, that’s ridiculous,” said Scott Stomps, the victim’s husband. “A couple traffic tickets isn’t going to do it.”
The Stomps family also is suing Bay Area Disposal and Neal for $150,000 in damages for the circumstances of the crash.
They claim in their lawsuit that Neal was prescribed "psychotropic medications" to treat major depression and that Bay Area Disposal was negligent in allowing him to drive a truck.
Neal was hospitalized with suicidal thoughts in April 2016 and diagnosed with severe depression, according to the lawsuit. It also claims he was prescribed Abilify, Zoloft and Atarax, which contain warnings to not operate vehicles or heavy equipment.
The lawsuit claims Neal was taking the medications "in an inappropriate fashion contrary to the instruction of his health care providers."
The suit claims Neal had been involved in another accident in Baltimore where multiple people were injured the day before his crash with Stomps. This prompted a drug test from Bay Area Disposal that Neal was on his way to when the fatal accident happened the following day, according to the Stomps’ suit.
"Rather than transport him to the drug testing facility, Defendant Bay Area entrusted its Mack Trash Truck to Defendant Neal to transport himself to the drug testing facility," the suit reads.