Accident victim's family sues motorist


The family of an Ellicott City man who died after being struck by a car in December has filed a $1.5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle.

Angela Hartman and her daughter, Stephanie Hartman, both of Waldorf, claim the driver was negligent in the Dec. 28 accident, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Howard Circuit Court.

The driver, Robert Joseph Stangle, 23, of the 8500 block of Autumn Harvest in Ellicott City, is named in the lawsuit as the defendant.

Mr. Stangle could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Raymond Herman Hartman Sr., 44, of the 8800 block of Town & Country Blvd. died at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore two days after being hit by Mr. Stangle's Honda.

No criminal charges were filed against Mr. Stangle in the accident.

The Hartmans claim in the suit that Mr. Stangle was "careless, reckless and negligent" by failing to operate his car in a way to prevent striking Mr. Hartman.

The lawsuit contends that Mr. Stangle failed to look out for vehicles and pedestrians in his path and failed to take steps to avoid hitting Mr. Hartman.

But police said in a report issued at the time of the accident that Mr. Hartman's dark clothing and icy, wet roads may have contributed to the 6:30 a.m. accident.

Mr. Hartman was walking north along the southbound lanes of Route 104 near Grove Road in Ellicott City when he was struck by Mr. Stangle's car as the motorist traveled south, the suit says.

The pedestrian was thrown into the windshield of Mr. Stangle's car and carried about 65 feet before he fell off the vehicle, the suit says.

Mr. Stangle was not injured in the accident.

Mr. Hartman's death has caused mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, and loss of companionship, the plaintiffs say.

The Hartmans are seeking a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Judge Dennis Sweeney, but no proceedings have been scheduled.

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