Fatal car accidents always leave the loved ones of the victims feeling a mixture of emotions and wondering what could have been done to prevent the untimely deaths. The case of Matther Hoskins and Evan Raasch, tow good friends from Grady County, Oklahoma, was no different. But the high-speed car crash that killed the two teenage boys in Chickasha, Oklahoma last year has left their parents embroiled in a bitter lawsuit.
As reported by Newsok.com, the mother of Evan Raasch, 15, who died riding in a souped-up car last year, has sued the parents of the driver. Evan's 17-year-old friend and driver of the car, Matthew Hoskins, also died in the crash. Briana Hoskins, 15, the sister of the driver, was thrown 92 feet from the point of impact but survived, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The wreck happened about 3:45 p.m., about 700 feet south of County Road 1380 at County Street 2760, just south of Chickasha. Hoskins was passing three vehicles when he lost control due to excessive speed and went into a skid, the lawsuit alleges. The car then hit a tree. Evan Raasch was thrown from the car and died on the way to the hospital. Matthew Hoskins died at the scene. The car was not equipped with air bags, and no one in the car was wearing a seat belt.
Karla Raasch, Evan's mother, filed the lawsuit alleging negligence in Grady County on January 12, 2012. The suit alleges the car was traveling more than 100 mph at the time of the wreck. According to the lawsuit, the car was modified with a nitrous oxide kit. The lawsuit names the estate of Matthew Hoskins and Mack and Cammy Lyons, Matther's parents, as defendants. The suit asks for damages in excess of $1 million.
According to Ron Durbin, Raasch's attorney, photographs of the wrecked car show a nitrous oxide bottle hanging out of the trunk. Nitrous oxide is used to enhance engine performance. The kit is legal to install in a vehicle for a racetrack or for drag-racing but not for use in a vehicle on a public roadway, Durbin said.
Newsok.com also reports that Mack and Cammy Lyons' attorney, Shawn Arnold, filed their answer to the civil suit Friday in Grady County, on the anniversary of the January 27, 2011, crash. Arnold commented on the lawsuit, saying: "Today is the anniversary, and frankly, it's a difficult time for the family and the surviving sister. It's unfortunate that instead of dealing with the grief of the anniversary they have to deal with this lawsuit." Mack Lyons, a truck driver who is the stepfather of Hoskins, said he had no comment about the lawsuit.
The suit filed by Raasch alleges that Hoskins parents knew or should have known Hoskins was an unsafe driver because of tickets he'd received, according to the lawsuit. The suit also alleges that the car, a 1994 Chevrolet Camaro, had boosted horsepower because of a nitrous oxide kit that had been installed in it, and the car engine has either been altered or sold to cover up the evidence in the case. According to Durbin, "We don't know where the car is. That is one of the issues."
Arnold, the attorney representing Hoskins' parents, called these and other allegations "simply without any factual basis whatsoever." "This was a simple case of a young man who tragically lost his life in an auto accident and that of his best friend," he said.
This is truly a tragedy, and as a car accident attorney who regularly represents families who have lost a loved one due to a car accident, I sincerely hope that both families seek the help that they need, and that Evan's family receives the justice that they deserve.