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Chattaroy man impaled by tree branch sues Spokane County

Carlton Evans, of Chattaroy, WA, was driving through a massive windstorm when he was suddenly impaled by a tree branch.  This windstorm also toppled several trees that destroyed several homes and cars.  A tree branch went shooting through his window seriously injuring Evans, when he was then forced off the road.   To his dismay, he was pinned to his seat because of the branch lodged in his abdomen, in addition, his left hand suffered a severe injury and later had to be amputated.  The tree was positioned just off the road and was claimed to have violated county standards.  Janelle Carney, of GLP Attorneys, claims that the county should have prepared a 16-foot clearance zone between trees of this size and major roads.  “The very purpose of these regulations is to protect all the motorists on the roadway,” Carney said, “and the county failed to do that.” 

Because of a lack of awareness and safety, Mr. Evans must now use a walker and has lost his job as a BNSF Railway engineer.  Evans and Carney have filed a lawsuit last week in Spokane County Superior Court.  Mr. Evans and his wife, Margaret Evans, are pursuing unspecified damages for injury and “loss of emotional support, love and affection, care, services, and companionship.”  County spokeswoman Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter did not comment on the litigation.  Several people are put in danger when safety is ignored, many trees are growing too close to the roadway.  After Carney asked the county about maintenance work in the area, they did not provide “any evidence that they were even trying to do something about this.”


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