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MOTHER OF TEEN KILLED IN CRASH WHILE BROADCASTING LIVE ON FACEBOOK FILES SUIT

Wilkes Barre Personal Injury Lawyer, Kevin Quinn, Esq. - HKQ LawNOTE: This article is reprinted form The Times Tribune.

BY TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER / PUBLISHED: AUGUST 25, 2018

The mother of a Scranton teen killed when a tractor-trailer rammed the rear of her car as she and a passenger broadcast live on Facebook filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and his employer.

Rita Hughes, mother of Brooke Hughes, says her daughter and her daughter’s friend, Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, suffered agonizing deaths when their vehicle burst into flames after a fully loaded truck driven by Michael J. Parks of Tobyhanna struck them Dec. 6, 2016.

The Facebook video also captured the moments before the crash as Hughes, 18, and Morrison-Toomey, 19, of Dunmore, traveled on Interstate 380 in Coolbaugh Twp. in Monroe County.

According to the suit, the girls had just changed a flat tire on Hughes’ 2005 Suzuki Forenza and were traveling slowly on a “doughnut” tire with hazard lights flashing. The suit says the area of the crash is a straightaway with adequate sight distances. Prior to the crash, multiple other drivers observed the car and maneuvered around it without any difficultly.

The state police report and Facebook video identify Hughes as the driver, but the lawsuit, filed by Kingston attorney Kevin Quinn, says she was the passenger.

Contacted Monday, Quinn said the Monroe County coroner’s office concluded Hughes was the passenger based on DNA testing of the bodies, which were burned beyond recognition. Maurice Moreno, chief deputy coroner for Monroe County, said a witness who helped the teens change the flat tire also identified Morrison-Toomey as the driver.

The lawsuit does not mention the girls were streaming on Facebook. Quinn said that information will come out later as the case proceeds.

“I don’t think it’s an issue. Brooke was the passenger,” Quinn said.

The lawsuit, filed in Lackawanna County Court, alleges Parks was distracted and failed to keep an adequate lookout and that his employer, Pocono Motor Freight Inc., of Tobyhanna, failed to ensure he was trained properly to operate the truck. Attempts to reach company officials were unsuccessful.

The suit seeks damages on several counts, including negligence and wrongful death. Morrison-Toomey’s parents, Danielle Toomey and Jamal Morrison, are not co-plaintiffs in the case. Attempts to reach them were unsuccessful.

Contact the writer:

tbesecker@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9137

About Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn, PC

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Reports, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history, totaling over a half billion dollars on behalf of injured clients. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A. Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for personal injury and medical malpractice litigation in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at www.HKQLaw.com or by calling (800) 760-1529 (1LAW).

				

 

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