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Published: Monday, 6/29/2009

Man hurt in 2 crashes files suit against drivers

A Toledo man who was hit twice by drunken drivers, including a University of Toledo student driving the wrong way on I-475, has filed suit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Thomas G. Walker and his wife, Jean, sued Tiffany Dewey for the Jan. 11, 2008, crash she caused when she drove her car west in the eastbound lanes of I-475.

Ms. Dewey, now 22, of 5210 Spicer Rd., pleaded no contest Jan. 30, 2008, to driving under the influence of alcohol and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

According to police, Ms. Dewey, who was 20 at the time, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, which exceeds more than ninefold the 0.02 percent legal limit for motorists under 21.

She was sentenced in April, 2008, to 18 months probation, including alcohol treatment classes and a $500 fine.

Mr. Walker was injured during the crash, specifically in his neck and back, the lawsuit said.

In a separate crash that occurred Feb. 4, 2008, Arthur LaFreuiere III was driving north on Secor Road when he went left of center and struck Mr. Walker, who was traveling south, the lawsuit said.

Again, Mr. Walker sustained injuries, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. LaFreuiere was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

The Walkers declined to comment on the case.

Attorney Jim Caruso said although separate incidents, the lawsuits were filed in one action because of the possibility that each of the defendants will claim the other is more liable.

He said that by putting the cases together, one jury will hear all the facts and decide the issue.

The case was assigned to Judge Stacy Cook.

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