Tragic Highway 82 crash spurs two new lawsuits |

Tragic Highway 82 crash spurs two new lawsuits

ASPEN, Colorado – The families of one person who was killed and another who was severely injured in a car-semi crash on Highway 82 have settled a lawsuit with the driver of the big rig and are now suing the pilot-car driver who accompanied him.

The two children of Noemy Ramos Jiminez, who was killed in the accident, filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Denver on Monday against Sonrise Pilot and David Hainault and other unknown pilot-car drivers. The lawsuit claims negligence on the part of the pilot-car drivers contributed to the accident. They are seeking damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

A similar lawsuit was filed in late December by Julio Hernandez Mendoza, who survived the accident but was severely injured. The suit claims Hernandez Mendoza suffered a severe brain injury and will require long-term care. The litigation was filed on his behalf by his father and guardian.

The lawsuit by Hernandez Mendoza against Sonrise Pilot, Hainault and the other pilot-car driver claims they failed to adequately prepare the rig driven Mark Chamness and his employer, Davidson Industries, for the trip in the dark. The mobile office allegedly didn’t have the proper lighting or warnings.

“They allowed, directed, or approved the operation of the Chamness-Davidson vehicle in such a manner that when said vehicle entered Highway 82, it could not safely travel across the intersection but rather blocked the westbound lanes of Highway 82,” the lawsuit says.

The other lawsuit against the pilot-car drivers and company was filed on behalf of Ramos Jiminez’s minor children by the court-appointed conservator of their finances, Maritza Ramos Arevalo. The children now live in El Salvador. Their attorney is David Lenyo of Aspen.

That lawsuit claims the pilot car operators committed numerous acts and omissions of “negligence, carelessness and recklessness” in the accident.

Sonrise Pilot is listed in the lawsuits as a firm in Moffat County, but no contact information could be found for them.

The family of Elizeo Trinidad isn’t a plaintiff yet in the lawsuits against the pilot car firm and drivers.

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