Friday, November 16, 2012

Family awarded $2.97 million in trooper crash case

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM

ANDREW RHEW: His wreck led to $2.97 million award.
  • ANDREW RHEW: His wreck led to $2.97 million award.
The Arkansas Claims Commission has awarded $2.97 million to the family of Vickie Lynn Freemyer, who was killed by a speeding state trooper, Andrew Rhew, who was responding to a call without warning lights or siren and driving 103 miles per hour a second before the crash.

The award against the State Police will be considered for appropriation by the legislature. Norman Hodges, director of the Claims Commission, said a panel of Pat Moran, Richard Mays and H.T. Moore voted unanimously for the award after perhaps five hours of testimony on Thursday. Hodges said he understood the panel assigned about 10 percent of the fault for the accident on Freemyer, but most of the rest to Rhew, who's no longer a member of the State Police.

Freemyer, a Blytheville teacher, pulled out of a restaurant onto a highway through Manila and was hit by Rhew, who was heading to a call in Osceola. Rhew was fired for ignoring operating rules in the wreck, but reinstated by the State Police Commission. Rhew's attorney argued that Freemyer was at fault. Rhew later resigned as a trooper after an arrest for DWI in Missouri. He says that charge was subsequently dismissed.

The claim was brought by Melissa Stewart, one of Freemyer's daughters, as administrator of her estate. Hodges said he believed it was the second-largest personal injury award made by the Claims Commission. He said $6.5 million was awarded several years ago in the case of a child who'd been severely injured by a flying piece of metal from a highway right of way mower.

Bobby Coleman of Blytheville was attorney for the estate. The family earlier had objected to a plea bargain in a criminal case brought against Rhew in which he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor negligent manslaughter charge with the opportunity to have his record expunged.

Tags: , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • UPDATE: Metroplan signs off on waiver for Concrete Gulch

    UPDATE: The Metroplan board has voted with scant opposition to waive the existing six-lane limit on area freeways so that the highway department may build a 10-lane concrete gulch through the heart of Little Rock. Leslie Newell Peacock will be back with more after a while. A grassroots group presented spirited opposition, all ignored.
    • Aug 31, 2016
  • One dead in crash at Bentonville airport

    The pilot of a small plane was killed when his plane crashed into a hangar on takeoff this morning at the Bentonville Municipal Airport, KNWA reports.
    • Aug 31, 2016
  • Debtors' prisons are for kids, too, including in Arkansas

    A new report from the Juvenile Law Center says kids are being incarcerated nationwide for failure to pay juvenile court-related costs — debtors' prison for kids. The system, which exists in Arkansas, is rife with racial disparities and encourages recidivism, the report says.
    • Aug 31, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • The South, including Arkansas, is failing poor kids who want to go to college

    The Atlantic has an important perspective on the South's "cycle of failing higher education."  Arkansas stands out for the cost barriers it presents to low-income students.
  • School takeovers erode democracy, target minority communities

    New reporting shows state takeover of schools around the country, including in Little Rock, have disproportionately affected minority communities.
  • The boys on the tracks are back

    A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Little Rock bears notice for its effort to breathe life into the 29-year-old story most familiarly known as the Boys on the Tracks.
  • Arkansas legislator tied to fatal bus crash in Louisiana

    Republican state Rep. David Wallace of Leachville, a current candidate for state Senate, has been identified as the owner of a company that rounded up a group of workers, apparently undocumented aliens, for flood relief work in Louisiana, including one with a poor driving record who was at the wheel in a fatal bus crash on Interstate 10.
  • Dumas: Behind the Obamascare headlines

    Ernest Dumas explains in his Arkansas times column this week how Obamacare's problems can be fixed; why it isn't going away, and, most pertinently, why it's more lucrative for Arkansas to continue to expand the coverage pool, not dream up ways to shrink it.

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas legislator tied to fatal bus crash in Louisiana

    Republican state Rep. David Wallace of Leachville, a current candidate for state Senate, has been identified as the owner of a company that rounded up a group of workers, apparently undocumented aliens, for flood relief work in Louisiana, including one with a poor driving record who was at the wheel in a fatal bus crash on Interstate 10.
  • Legislature subpoenas judge to testify about child custody decisions.

    The Legislative Joint Performance Review Committee has subpoenaed Circuit Judge Patricia James, who handles juvenile cases in Pulaski and Perry County, to testify to explain her child custody decisions. It's another example of a power-mad, out-of-control legislature.
  • The National Anthem and sporting events: Why?

    For your consideration: A New York Times article that delves into the American tradition of playing the national anthem before sporting events.
  • Former Arkansan, Noelle Nikpour, finishes last in Florida congressional primary

    Noelle Nikpour, a sometime-Republican commentator on cable TV and a former Little Rock resident, got 1 percent of the vote for a last-place finish in a six-way Republican primary race for Congress from Florida's 18th District.
  • Leadership changes announced at DHS

    I've been asking DHS for two days about reports that Dawn Stehle was being elevated at DHS to the deputy director's job being vacated by Mark White. The non-response was telling. The news release is even more telling of the unhappy Republicans that tipped me on this change in the first place.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation