Ky. EMS sued for crash that killed teen on bike

The parents of a 14-year-old who died after being struck by an ambulance filed a civil action suit claiming it was driven in a "negligent, careless and reckless manner"


By John L. Ross
The Times-Tribune

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. — A civil action was filed Monday in the Knox County Circuit Clerk’s office against Knox County EMS and employee Kevin French involving the death of Lynn Camp High School freshman Samson Callender.

Callender, 14, was killed in August after being struck by an ambulance on U.S. 25E.

According to Kentucky State Police Harlan Public Affairs Officer Trooper Shane Jacobs, Callender and two other juveniles were riding bicycles in the highway median in front of Sammie’s Auction House in Gray around 10 p.m. that night.

That’s when the ambulance, traveling north on the highway to Baptist Health Corbin with a patient from Barbourville, came into that intersection.

The ambulance dropped off the road, striking all three bicycle riders.

Callender was pronounced dead at the scene by the Knox County coroner. The other two juveniles were treated and released from Baptist Health.

Callender’s parents, Rodney Callender, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Holly Dale Johnson, of Corbin, filed the documents with their attorneys, David O. Smith and Bill Meader.

According their complaint, French, within his official capacity for Knox County EMS, drove the 2011 Chevrolet 4500 ambulance “in such a negligent, careless and reckless manner so as to cause it to collide with the bicycle and/or Samson Callender,” resulting in the teen’s death.

The documents also note that because he was employed and performing duties for Knox EMS, that they, too, are “either directly or vicariously liable” for the younger Callender’s death.

Medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and mental anguish as well as earning capacity are all addressed in the documents filed Monday.

The parents seek judgments against the defendants for all compensatory damages with a total sum exceeding $5,000, pre- and post-judgment interest, trial by jury, all costs including attorney fees — and the reservation of the parents’ rights to amend the claim for punitive damages.

Claims made in a lawsuit state only one side of a dispute. Under the law, defendants have 20 days from the date they are served to respond to the plaintiff’s allegations.

No court date for this matter has yet been set.

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©2015 The Times-Tribune (Corbin, Ky.)

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