Cyclist’s lawsuit seeks more than $500K
Parkite Robin Valline claims Wanship resident Ashli Johnson was talking on a cellular phone when she struck him in a Chevy Malibu while he was riding his bicycle in Snyderville last June.
According to a lawsuit Valline filed against Johnson and her husband, Tim Johnson, because of Johnson’s negligence, Valline suffered several broken bones, including spinal fractures, and a shattered femur in the crash.
Tim Johnson owns the car his wife was driving when she struck Valline, the 6-page complaint states.
"I was riding my bike and I could see through the windshield that she wasn’t looking at me," said Valline, 50, at the time of the crash.
The man was returning to Park City June 20 after a ride near Kamas when Johnson hit him, the lawsuit states.
When the accident occurred she was attempting to turn left from S.R. 248 onto westbound U.S. 40 at Quinn’s Junction, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Loveland said, adding that Johnson claimed a spider inside the car distracted her.
"Mr. Valline had the right-of-way over any vehicle turning left onto the onramp," the lawsuit states.
Valline sued the Johnsons Sept. 18 for "not less than $500,000" in damages.
"While using the cell phone Johnson failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to yield the right of way and turned her motor vehicle directly into Mr. Valline’s lane of travel," the lawsuit states.
According to Valline’s complaint, repairing his collapsed lung and other injuries required several hours of surgery and more than 20 screws.
"[Johnson] should have known that her use of a cell phone while driving and while making a left hand turn onto the onramp would create an unreasonable risk of injury or damage to other road users," the lawsuit filed by Park City attorney Joe Wrona states.
Tim and Ashli Johnson were not immediately available for comment.
Following the collision, the woman was cited by the Highway Patrol for making an improper left turn, said Loveland, who estimates Johnson was traveling about 20 mph when she struck Valline.
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