On August 9, 2003, Elizabeth Jaynes was walking near or at the intersection of Station Road and Hampton Avenue in Bellport, New York. This was around midnight. While trying to cross Station Road, she hit by a car being driven by Justine M. Wilkens. The vehicle which was owned by Steven P. Wilkens was going north on Station Road. Ms. Jaynes was thrown off onto the southbound lane. While lying on the road after the hit, she was struck by another vehicle, this time the one being driven by Joseph B. McPartland. This vehicle was leased by Joseph B. McPartland’s father, Michael E. McPartland from Chase Manhattan Automobile Finance Corporation.
Ms. Jaynes did not remember anything that happened in the accident. According to Ms. Wilkens, she has been a licensed driver for about a month before the accident happened. She said that she has driven in that road at least ten times before. In her statement, she also said that it was misting but the road was dry. She did not need the wind shield wipers, and her headlights were on. She further stated that the area was not well lit. She first saw Ms. Jaynes and the friend as they were stepping of the sidewalk. She said that she was travelling at thirty miles per hour. A Lawyer found out that in her sworn statement after the accident at the scene she said she was driving at about 35-40 miles per hour. The speed limit in that road is thirty miles per hour. She said that Ms. Jaynes and her companion were walking and Ms. Jaynes suddenly crossed her path while the other woman was on the untraveled path. She then hit her brakes but did not swerve of sound her horn. Ms. Jaynes hit the hood of the car and flew to the southbound lane of the road. She pulled over at the side of the road and tried to call 911 but she said her phone failed. Her friend Robert McGuiniss was driving behind her, and they were conversing when Ms. Jaynes was struck again. They saw a blue pick-up travelling south and there were no other vehicles in front of it.
Mr. McGuiniss testified that he learned of the car accident when he saw Ms. Wilkens brake and pull over on the side of the road. According to a witness, he said that he thought she hit a bag of garbage that flew over the car. He also said that he did not see Ms. Wilkens apply her brakes until after the intersection of Hampton Avenue. He said that after talking with Ms. Wilkens, he walked towards where Ms. Jaynes lain, but before he could get there was a blue pick-up that passed. He said that he had to jump back in order to avoid getting hit. In his statement, he also mentioned that there were no other vehicles that passed other than the pick-up. He said that the pick-up hit Ms. Jaynes with the driver’s side, the brakes were applied and the vehicle skidded over Ms. Jaynes.
Seventeen-year-old Joseph McPartland’s testimony said that the Dodge pick-up was his father’s. In his recount of what happened, he said that he was driving south at the time of the accident, and he was familiar with the area. While driving, his radio was on, and he had a mobile phone but he was not using it. He said that he had been following a small car the whole time that he was driving on Station Road. He said that in the one and a half mile before the accident, the other car and he were travelling at the same speed. The other vehicle he said was about three cars away from him. He said he could see the other vehicle and the road in front of his truck but not what is in front of the smaller car. He stated that he did not see the incident where Ms. Wilkens hit Ms, Jaynes. When he saw that the brake lights of the small car lit up, he applied his break too. He said the small car swerved to the left, and he followed the same path but was not able to go as far left as the small vehicle. When asked if he saw the small car hit anything, he answered he did not. He just felt a bump while he was across the double yellow line. He testified that he was travelling at a speed of 40 miles per hour. He insists that he did not see Ms. Jaynes or the crowd of on lookers until after the accident.
Ms. Jaynes filed a petition for a summary judgment for the liability of Justine M. Wilkens and Joseph B. McPartland as drivers of the vehicles that struck her. She also included Steven P. Wilkens, Michael E. McPartland and Chase Manhattan Automobile Finance Corporation as the owners of the vehicles in the petition. She asked for them to furnish mobile phone records from their service providers because they were not able to comply with the previous orders of the court. This to be granted Ms. Jaynes has to be able to prove and provide sufficient evidence that will cover all the pertinent issues of the incident. Then the defendants must present their case to show that the evidence and conclusions are not completed. They have to show that there are still material concerns that have not been addressed. If there is none, then they need to show that the evidence is not substantial.
The Wilkens’ response to the petition was that there is still an issue of whether Ms. Jaynes was able to exercise due care to avoid getting into the accident. This is because she walked in on the road when a vehicle will be unable to stop and not hit her. They also pointed to the medical records provided by Stony Brook University Hospital where Ms. Jaynes was admitted. It showed that she was “ETOH intoxicated.” They also asked to consider her medical history as she had already received treatment for alcoholism.
As for the McPartland’s and Chase Manhattan Automobile Finance Corporation, they countered the motion with the statement of another witness Megan Kelly. Megan Kelly was driving behind Mr. McGuiniss and stopped at the side of the road when she saw that Ms. Wilkens’ was parked. She noticed the McPartland’s truck driving southbound and saw him run over something on the road. After which, the people began screaming. It was only then that she realized it was a woman. She said that the McPartland’s vehicle was not moving fast, maybe around 35 miles per hour. She as well stated that the woman in the road was difficult to see. Chase Manhattan Automobile Finance Corporation added that the conflicting statements between Mr. McPartland and the witness as to his speed is also an issue.
The court denies the petition on the grounds that Ms. Jaynes act was still to be examined. She had to exercise due vigilance when crossing the street. They had to decide if her intoxication and her alcohol consumption was a contributing factor as to why the incident occurred. They need to determine the lighting conditions in the area. The court also commanded the parties to provide help with the gathering of all the evidence pertaining to the case.
courts in the Bronx and Brooklyn have ruled the same.
One may see that whoever was hurt as immediately the victim. A good New York Car Accident Lawyer knows that all the information needs to be reviewed first. There are some cases that you have done all you can to avoid an accident, but it happens and in these instances in car accidents, the law still protects your right.
If you are looking for an Auto Accident Lawyer who will handle your case, whether you are the one hit or the one who hit someone walk in any of our offices in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan. If you are in Long Island, we can be found in Suffolk County and Nassau County, as well as in Westchester County. We will give you a free consultation and give you your options. Call us now 1-800 NY – NY- LAW.