A Colorado semitruck driver was sentenced to five years in the Leavenworth County jail Friday, the maximum penalty, for causing a fiery crash three years ago that killed five people on the Kansas Turnpike near Bonner Springs. Kenny B. Ford, 59, pleaded no contest in January to five counts of vehicular homicide, which in Kansas is a misdemeanor charge. Each count carried a maximum penalty of one-year confinement. “This is as stiff of a sentence as one can get for a vehicular homicide,” Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said in an email to The Star. “The fact that all five are consecutive would probably be one of the toughest you would see, and for good reason due to the amount of people that died and destruction to the vehicles.”
Ford’s court-appointed attorney, Ben Casad, had asked for a one-year sentence followed by a year of probation, arguing that his client had a clean record, had cooperated with investigators and was remorseful. He said Ford was careless, not reckless behind the wheel on his big rig on the day of the fatal crash. “This is basically a negligent act,” Casad told Leavenworth County District Court Judge Gerald Kuckelman. “Obviously, he didn’t intend for this to happen.”
A strong case against catastrophic damages and wrongful death can be built by a truck accident attorney who seeks expertise by:
- Sending investigators to the accident scene
- Reviewing police reports, witness testimony and medical reports
- Hiring appropriate financial personnel to make valuations of loss
- Determining the cause of the accident
- Supporting victim’s rights against aggressive insurance companies
- Drafting and filing complicated insurance and legal documents
Wrongful death filing timeline and damages.
Legal representatives and loved ones can file a wrongful death legal action in court within two years from the date of the death, when lives are lost because of the negligent, reckless, or deliberate act of another. Damages recovered by insurance settlements, or legal action include:
- Medical bills and burial expenses
- Compensation for lost wages
- Compensation for the pain and suffering
- Punitive damages that are intended to punish the person who caused the death.
Under Kansas law, punitive damages shall exceed the lesser of the annual gross income of a defendant, or $5 million dollars. It is always best to speak with an attorney about the specifics of an accident because the award will be based on proof that a defendant deliberately, or with reckless disregard acted in a manner that would cause intentional harm.
Hire an attorney.
When a family has suffered the catastrophic loss of a loved one, there is no amount of money to compensate the loss, but an experienced truck accident attorney in Kansas can strategize to make certain that the negligence is fully addressed.