Families sue county, others over fatal 2016 crash

The families of two Yukon teenagers who were involved in a fatal crash on State Highway 4 at Britton Road in 2016 have filed a negligence lawsuit in Canadian County District Court.

The lawsuit seeks in excess of $75,000 from the board of Canadian County Commissioners, the city of Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Alberto Longoria, the other driver involved in the accident.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday afternoon by James and Beatrice Silva, and the Silva family, as well as Nickolas Bussett and Christy Bussett, along with family members.

The Silvas are suing on behalf of their son, Matthew, who died as a result of the Aug. 26, 2016, accident.

The Bussetts are suing to recoup medical expenses on behalf of Nickolas Bussett, who was a passenger in Silva’s vehicle when it was hit by Longoria, who was driving a loaded gravel truck.

The lawsuit names the commissioners, as well as city officials and the department of transportation, saying they were aware of the dangers of the intersection at SH-4 and Britton Road, but have done little to remedy the issue.

Tort claims by the families against the commissioners and the state were rejected.

The city of Oklahoma City never responded to the claims, according to the lawsuit.

WHAT HAPPENED

Silva and Bussett, both Yukon High School seniors, were heading to band practice on Aug. 26 when Silva turned onto SH-4. His vehicle was struck by Longoiria’s truck.

Silva and Bussett were transported to area hospitals, where Silva later died. Bussett survived, but suffered life-altering injuries, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that because all three government entities are involved in the maintenance of the road, they are share equally in the negligence claim.

The lawsuit says that vegetation was not maintained on the road, which curves just before the intersection. Also, other than flashing lights warning that drivers are approaching a dangerous intersection, there were not sufficient traffic control devices.

At the time of the accident, the intersection included a flashing light-type of signal with red stop lights on Britton Road and yellow flashing caution lights on SH-4.

The light created the indication that the roadway had a four-way stop.

Since the accident, the flashing lights have been removed and replaced with stop signs on Britton Road, as well as a sign warning that SH-4 traffic does not stop.

Meanwhile, plans are in place to help reduce the hazard.

State officials have announced plans to widen SH-4 from SH-66 (Main Street) in Yukon to Northwest Expressway.

Still, though, there are no plans for any type of traffic lights at either Wilshire Boulevard or Britton Road.

Lisa Shearer-Salim, a state transportation spokesperson, said earlier that because the roadway is in Oklahoma City, it would be up to that city’s traffic department to request signalization, and thus far, that has not happened.

“If they have done studies, we will work with them, but it has to come at their request,” she said last year.

No court dates have been set.

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