The Crime Scene - To Serve and Inform

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:52 AM ET, 03/11/2011

$3M jury award in Md. pedestrian death

By Ruben Castaneda
Ruben Castaneda

A Circuit Court civil jury in Prince George's County Thursday awarded $3.3 million to relatives of a woman killed by a motorist as she walked on a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue that did not have a sidewalk or guard rails.

The jury found the state of Maryland liable in the wrongful death lawsuit, and voted to award $2.5 million to Kayla Martin, the daughter of Kelay Smith, who was struck and killed by a motorist on Aug. 12, 2008.

Kayla was two at the time of the accident.

Smith, 26, was walking in the 5700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue just southeast of Silver Hill Road when a car veered onto the shoulder and struck her and Derrick R. "Mooky" Jones, 30.

Jones died at the scene. Smith, who was five months pregnant, died at a hospital. So did her unborn child.

That section of Pennsylvania Avenue, also known as Route 4. is maintained by the state of Maryland.

Terrell N. Roberts III, the attorney who represented Smith's family in the lawsuit, told jurors that the accident was preventable. On the block that Smith and Jones were walking, there is a sidewalk at both ends of the street -- but also a gap of about 200 feet where there is no sidewalk or guard rails. The two victims were struck as they walked in that section.

Roberts told jurors that state officials should have provided a sidewalk, guard rails, or a combination to improve safety for pedestrians.

In addition to the award for Kayla, the jury also awarded $800,000 to Vicki Muhammad, Smith's mother.

Nancy Miller, the assistant attorney general who defended the state in the civil trial, declined to comment on the verdict.

By Ruben Castaneda  | March 11, 2011; 8:52 AM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Pr. George's, Ruben Castaneda, Updates  | Tags:  Prince George's County civil lawsuits  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Man convicted in mother's death
Next: Revealing tapes of ride after 1981 Reagan shooting


Did the Jones family sue??

Posted by: bobby20 | March 11, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Always wondered what happened to Mooky ...

Posted by: clitteigh | March 11, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Good job, but this verdict will probably be reduced, if not taken away on appeal. Which is a shame.

Posted by: PepperDr | March 11, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company