Centralia Widow and Parents File Wrongful Death Suit for Death of Husband/Son

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Centralia man died after his motorcycle collided with a Para-Transit bus, leading to a wrongful death suit filed by his parents, child and widow.

Michael Heaston, 34 year old man of Centralia, Missouri, died on July 13th of this year a day after his motorcycle collided with a city bus. This deadly crash occurred at Vandiver Drive and Burlington Street just before 8 a.m. on July 12. The driver of the city bus, Archie Smith, was southbound on Burlington when he attempted to make a left hand turn into the eastbound lane of Vandiver. Smith told investigators that he had stopped at the stop sign but did not see Heaston at the time he pulled out. Smith then says he heard a screeching sound and a loud bang. He then looked to his left where he saw Heaston on the road.

Heaston had attempted to swerve and avoid the collision but was unable to avert it and his motorcycle struck the side of the bus. In the lawsuit it is stated that Heaston was pinned under the bus for several minutes before he was taken to the University Hospital where he later died.

Heaston’s widow, Jenny Heaston, his parents, Jackie and David Heaston, and son Jadin Heaston are plaintiffs in the wrongful death suit filed against the City of Columbia and driver Archie Smith. The suit was filed in Boone County Court in late October. The suit accuses Smith of failing to stop, slow down or swerve to avoid the collision and claims he was not paying adequate attention to the road. It has been determined through the investigation that Smith failed to yield directly prior to the incident.

The attorney representing both defendants in this case filed legal responses early this week. In them, defendants deny the allegations. They claim Heaston was driving too fast and was not wearing a proper helmet.

An investigative report of this crash was completed. There are still unanswered questions regarding Heaston’s speed and regulation compliance of his helmet. Plaintiff’s and their attorney are confident that there is no evidence to support the claim that Heaston was speeding. The Plaintiff’s attorney says, “I’m confident the evidence is favorable. The driver didn’t look.”

The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles auto crash and personal injury cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your auto crash or personal injury case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit our website at www.awsmithlaw.com. The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.