$20.5 million suits filed over fatal road accident


The mother and girlfriend of a Havre de Grace man killed in an October 1989 collision have filed suits totaling $20.5 million against a Baltimore truck driver and his employer, blaming them for the crash.

The mother, Virginia E. Cox, and girlfriend, Jodie L. Long, claim the driver and company acted negligently, causing the accident that killed Walter Jack Liles.

In separate suits filed in Harford Circuit Court last week, the Havre de Grace women named Ronnie Walker and the Baltimore-based Safety Kleen Environsystem Co. of Maryland as defendants.

Cox is seeking $20 million from the defendants. Long, who says she has a son by Liles, is seeking $500,000 in damages.

Long said in court papers that Liles would have recognized their son, although the couple was not married. The boy, Walter Jack Liles Jr., was born on June 25, 1990, about eight months after the accident.

"As a result of the negligence of the defendant and the resulting collision . . . [the boy] has been deprived of the support of the deceased," Long says in the suit.

Liles, who was 19, died as a result massive injuries received in the Oct. 30, 1989, collision along Route 155 outside Havre de Grace, court records say.

The suits say Walker stopped his Mack truck along the shoulder of the westbound lane of the highway to make a U-turn. As he made the turn, the suits say, his truck collided with a 1979 Chevrolet driven by Liles.

Cox and Long contend in the suits that Walker made the turn without signaling or looking for oncoming traffic.

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