Attorneys for a local family involved in a traffic accident with a DeKalb County School bus almost a year ago filed a circuit court lawsuit Tuesday seeking a total of one million dollars in damages against the bus driver Walter Phillips, individually; DeKalb County, and Phillips' employer, the DeKalb County Board of Education.
Ashley Spivey is suing on behalf of herself and her minor children, Isaac Dyal and Alissa Dyal, asking for "a money judgment in favor of herself in the amount of $300,000; for a money judgment in favor of herself for loss of consortium in the amount of $100,000; for a money judgment in favor of her daughter Alissa Dyal, a minor, in the amount of $300,000; and for a money judgment in favor of her son, Isaac Dyal, a minor, in the amount of $300,000."
Spivey, who is represented by Nashville attorneys Blair Durham and Ben Winters of Durham and Dread, PLC., also wants a jury to try the case.
The accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon, April 27th, 2010 near the school zone at the intersection of North Congress Boulevard and Smith Road in front of Northside Elementary School. Phillips and the eighteen students aboard his bus (#3) escaped injury. However, Kenny Waymon Dyal, Jr., Ashley LeAnn Spivey, Alissa Dyal, and Isaac Dyal, who were in the 1992 Chevy Blazer that struck the bus, were injured in the crash and taken to the hospital.
After conducting the investigation that day, Lieutenant Randy Maynard of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that bus # 3, driven by 81 year old Walter Phillips, had just left the school with the students and was on Smith Road, turning south on Highway 56 when a Chevy Blazer, driven by 23 year old Kenny Waymon Dyal, Jr. of Smithville, struck the bus. Dyal was traveling north on Highway 56 (North Congress Boulevard). The impact damaged the rear left side of the bus and detached the rear axle from the frame. The bus had to be towed away and the blazer was totaled.
Lieutenant Maynard said the three persons in the Blazer with Dyal were 23 year old Ashley LeAnn Spivey and their children, a two year old girl (Alissa Dyal) and a one year old boy (Isaac Dyal).
In the lawsuit, Spivey alleges that she and her children were passengers of the vehicle operated by Kenny Dyal, Jr. traveling north on North Congress Boulevard when Phillips, who was traveling westbound on Smith Road, turned left in front of Dyal's vehicle, causing the collision.
Spivey claims that Phillips was negligent and violated state laws in that he "failed to yield the right of way; was not paying attention; failed to keep his vehicle under due and reasonable control; and was driving in a reckless manner without regard for the safety of the public in general and the plaintiffs in particular."
The lawsuit further alleges that "DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Board of Education, employers of Phillips, are and should be vicariously liable to the Plaintiff for the acts and omissions of their employee pursuant to (state law)"
As a result of the accident, Ashley Spivey alleges that she and her two children have "sustained severe, permanent painful injuries from which they have incurred and shall continue to incur pain, suffering, emotional duress, and the loss of ability to participate in and enjoy the pleasures of life, for all of which they deserve to be compensated; and that they have incurred and shall continue to incur medical expenses for the treatment of these injuries, for all of which they deserve to be compensated."