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Published: Saturday, 1/25/2014 - Updated: 2 years ago

Jury awards $950,000 to local woman hurt in crash


A jury in Lucas County Common Pleas Court awarded $950,000 in damages to a Maumee woman who was badly hurt when a semi tractor-trailer struck her car, pushing it into another semi on the Ohio Turnpike in 2009.

The decision was handed up about 7:30 p.m. Thursday after a three-day trial in Judge Michael Goulding’s courtroom.

Heather Wolford, 69, had sued the semi driver, Phil Chekhriy of Commerce Township, Michigan, and his employer, S&T Transport Inc. of Chicago, alleging negligence that resulted in serious injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and physical and emotional pain.

Ms. Wolford contended she was eastbound on the turnpike Oct. 9, 2009, heading home from her job as a turnpike toll collector, when she slowed down for an accident that had occurred ahead of her. She contended Mr. Chekhriy’s truck ran into the rear of her car, propelling it into the rear of a semi rig in front of her.

S&T, meanwhile, argued Ms. Wolford, convicted in Maumee Municipal Court of making an improper lane change, had moved suddenly from the left lane to the right lane, cutting off Mr. Chekhriy’s truck.

Ms. Wolford’s attorney, Scott Spencer, said the jury apparently didn’t believe the truck driver who was in front of his client. That driver testified he saw her make the lane change. “On cross-examination, we established that he claimed he could do and see things that would be virtually impossible for him to do or see,” Mr. Spencer said.

He was pleased with the verdict. “It was a very conscientious jury who listened carefully to the evidence and a very deserving client.”

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