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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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The Soldier, The Wedding And The Car Crash

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Every motor vehicle crash changes the direction of the life of the injured victim and the victim’s family in some way. Sometimes it is only a slight detour lasting for only a few months. At other times it is a lifetime of grief and losses.

What happened to Kimberly Nea and her soldier, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, just before her wedding in 2003, is particularly poignant.

Jury awards woman $189,000 for pre-wedding crash

Kimberly Neal was running last-minute errands in March 2003, the day before she was scheduled to wed Barry Pettit and three days before his Army Reserve unit was to ship out for Iraq.

The flowers and her wedding dress were in the back seat when the 33-year-old nurse drove onto Interstate 77 in Newburgh Heights and her car was hit from behind by another car

The crash sent both vehicles spinning and crashing into guardrails. According to Neal, as she approached the other car to check the condition of the driver, the woman, Linda Lahman, 38, of Parma, was reeking of alcohol and uttered, “I wish I were dead.”

Lahman told police she had taken a large dose of antidepressants, was so impaired she could barely see and had lost her way home.

The wedding in Watertown, N.Y., went on as planned, but the one-night honeymoon in Syracuse had to be canceled as Neal recovered from a herniated disc, sprains and strains in her back and neck, and a cut on her head. Her medical bills totaled $12,000.

Neal, who lives in Parma, sued Lahman in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

After a three-day trial, a jury on Thursday ordered Lahman to pay Neal $113,800 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.

Every motor vehicle crash changes the direction of the life of the injured victim and the victim’s family in some way. Sometimes it is only a slight detour lasting for only a few months. At other times it is a lifetime of grief and losses.

What happened to Kimberly Neal and her soldier, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, just before her wedding in 2003, is particularly poignant.

Jury awards woman $189,000 for pre-wedding crash

Kimberly Neal was running last-minute errands in March 2003, the day before she was scheduled to wed Barry Pettit and three days before his Army Reserve unit was to ship out for Iraq.

The flowers and her wedding dress were in the back seat when the 33-year-old nurse drove onto Interstate 77 in Newburgh Heights and her car was hit from behind by another car

The crash sent both vehicles spinning and crashing into guardrails. According to Neal, as she approached the other car to check the condition of the driver, the woman, Linda Lahman, 38, of Parma, was reeking of alcohol and uttered, “I wish I were dead.”

Lahman told police she had taken a large dose of antidepressants, was so impaired she could barely see and had lost her way home.

The wedding in Watertown, N.Y., went on as planned, but the one-night honeymoon in Syracuse had to be canceled as Neal recovered from a herniated disc, sprains and strains in her back and neck, and a cut on her head. Her medical bills totaled $12,000.

Neal, who lives in Parma, sued Lahman in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

After a three-day trial, a jury on Thursday ordered Lahman to pay Neal $113,800 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.