While most auto accidents are caused by carelessness, lack of foresight, or distracted driving, some are clearly motivated by malice. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association compiled data which shows that “The number of fatal accidents involving enraged drivers has increased nearly tenfold since 2004.” In 2013 alone, 247 fatal accidents involved aggressive drivers.
This week, in Denver, one man claims he was a victim of such aggressive driving, but the circumstances are rather unique. According to the allegations in his lawsuit, Archibald Allen Lee Hegner was biking when was chased down by a street cleaning machine either intentionally or recklessly. He was then struck by the machine and thrown from his bicycle, getting knocked unconscious and sustaining substantial injuries. Hegner is suing both the city of Denver and the streetsweeper operator Rodney Ray Fresquez, for the emotional and physical damage that he suffered from the accident.
On February 19 of 2016, at around 2 pm, Hegner was biking northwards on a section of South Jackson Street that does not have centerline markings. His suit alleges that he was going about 7 mph when he approached a street cleaning machine that was idling on the right side of the road. Hegner claims that the sweeper operator, Fresquez, began accelerating the machine, “apparently intending to overtake and pass (Hegner on his) right side.”
At this point, the chase really begun. Hegner sped up to about 10 mph and moved to the left side of the street, allegedly to avoid collision while he was being passed by the heavy equipment. Then, Fresquez “sped up and passed Hegner while throwing dirt, leaves and small branches at the bicyclist.”
Hegner sped up yet again to pass the street cleaner and avoid the debris, but Fresquez accelerated once again and “suddenly, inexplicably and without warning, executed a 180-degree (turn) to reverse direction and head south on South Jackson and directly at (Hegner),” according to the lawsuit. Henger was then struck by the streetcleaner and thrown into the air.
Hegner claims that his injuries were the result of intentional efforts by Fresquez. He suffered two broken ribs, a fractured sacrum, a large hematoma, and traumatic brain injury after being knocked unconscious by the impact.
Hegner is now suing the city of Denver and Fresquez for his injuries. He is asking for compensation for multiple damages including $116,072 for associated medical bills and additional money for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and attorney's fees. The city of Denver has previously denied Hegner's claim in September of 2016.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a motor vehicle accident involving aggression or intent to harm, you may be eligible for reparations for your physical and emotional suffering. Make the call to The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today (303) 825-2223 or contact us online to discuss the circumstances of your case.