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Published: Saturday, 7/17/2004

Mother of Rt. 2 crash victim sues 2 drivers

The mother of 13-year-old Brandi Scott, who was injured in last month's deadly chain collision on State Rt. 2, yesterday sued the driver of the sport-utility vehicle who apparently triggered the wreck and the driver of a tractor-trailer that was involved.

Michelle LeFlore, of Sterling Heights, Mich., filed a personal injury lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on behalf of her daughter, who was a passenger in a Cadillac Escalade that was struck head-on by the tractor-trailer rig.

Brandi's father, Darryl K. Scott, 44, of Detroit, who was driving the Escalade, and five passengers died in the June 21 crash on the Turtle Creek bridge, just west of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station.

The lawsuit, which was assigned to Judge Ruth Ann Franks, asks for more than $75,000 in compensation.

Also killed in the crash were Mr. Scott's girlfriend, Shannon Scott, 24, of Romulus, Mich.; his niece, Ariel Scott, 12, of Detroit; sisters, Alexis Howard, 9, and Alecia Howard, 7, of Eastpointe, Mich., both daughters of Mr. Scott, and Shannon Scott's niece, Amber Channey, 6, of Ypsilanti, Mich.

Brandi and the victims were returning from the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky to the Detroit area.

The lawsuit names Brian Woody, 28, of Toledo, who was the driver of the SUV; Shawn Tuffelmire, the driver of the tractor-trailer, and his employer, J.D.C. Logistics, Inc., of Milwaukee, as defendants.

Ms. LeFlore's attorney, Arnie Matusz, of the Southfield, Mich., law firm Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Johnson, said he believes the defendants were

primarily responsible for the crash.

"We feel they are the ones who are liable. There may be others. But based on what we have seen so far, we don't think so," Mr. Matusz said.

Authorities said Mr. Woody's westbound Chevy Blazer careened across the center line, striking Mr. Tuffelmire's eastbound rig with its front left corner. The impact caused the semi to clip a Toyota Corolla in the left rear before smashing into Mr. Scott's SUV head-on.

A report released last week by the Ohio Highway Patrol showed Mr. Woody had a prescription sedative and marijuana in his bloodstream.

Mr. Woody's blood alcohol level was 0.025 percent, well below the state's legal limit of 0.08, the patrol said.

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