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Family sues for $3.5 million after son dies

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By Susan Sharp

By SUSAN SHARP

sharp@lafollettepress.com

The father of the boy who died in accident this past summer has filed suit against two people and the city of LaFollette.

Garry Goins filed the suit last week in Campbell County Circuit Court asking for $3.5 million in damages.

In it, he names Charles L. Hutson, Charles Eldridge and the city of LaFollette as defendants.

In July Goins’ son, Garry White was riding his bicycle in LaFollette when he collided with Hutson’s vehicle, police reports from the incident said at the time.

 On the day of the accident, White was on South 16 th Street at an intersection. Hutson, who was driving a 1994 GMC Sierra, was on the same street, the court filing says. According to the suit, Hutson failed “to keep a proper lookout” while traveling at an excessive rate of speed given the circumstances.

As the two moved towards each other, the family claims Hutson drove his vehicle “directly into the path” of White.

An ensuing accident occurred that claimed White’s life within minutes, the lawsuit says. The family has alleged Hutson was negligently operating his truck that day.

Regarding the other defendants, Goins also places responsibility on them.

A chain-linked fence sits on the property at the intersection where the July accident happened, the court filing said. Eldridge owns the property. White’s family says in the suit, the fence was overgrown blocking the line of sight for those at the intersection.

Eldridge’s failure to clear brush from the area constitutes negligence and was a contributing factor in the collision, the lawsuit claims.  

The city of LaFollette had an easement near the fencerow. However, it failed to clean the area contributing to the circumstances as well, the circuit court filing says.

The alleged negligence of three defendants was the trigger effect for the resulting accident, the family says in the suit.

They feel they should not only be compensated for White’s death but the medical as well as funeral expenses they sustained.