Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lawsuit Filed Against Driver in Selmer Crash

Posted on Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 4:00 AM

SELMER, Tenn. (AP) -- The father of a teenager who was among six people killed this month when a drag-racing car spun into a crowd sued the driver and organizers of the charity event Tuesday.

Bruce Replogle, the father of 15-year-old Scarlett Replogle, seeks $10 million in damages.

Authorities say pro drag racer Troy Critchley lost control of his dragster while performing an exhibition burnout - spinning the car's back tires to send up clouds of smoke - during a parade at the annual Cars for Kids charity event June 16. Besides the six killed, 23 were hospitalized.

Replogle alleges event organizer Larry Price failed to obtain a permit for the parade and failed to take precautions to ensure the safety of spectators. The father also accuses him of encouraging drivers to do unsafe burnouts to attract crowds, despite warnings that they were not safe.

Critchley is accused of being negligent by failing to maintain control of his vehicle and performing dangerous tricks without making sure spectators were protected.

Replogle accuses the vehicle's owner, AMS Staff Leasing Inc., of negligence by failing to make sure the car was in proper working order and allowing it to be driven by Critchley, who had an "unsafe driving record," the suit claims.

Critchley, who has not spoken publicly since the accident, was convicted of drunken driving in Virginia in 2000.

A call to Price's home in Selmer went unanswered Tuesday night. He has retained Memphis attorney Steve Farese Sr., who did not immediately return a message left at his office after hours.

A message left at the Dallas office of AMS Staff Leasing was not immediately returned.

Replogle's attorney, Lewis L. Cobb, did not immediately return a message left after business hours.

Besides damages, Replogle seeks to stop Price and Cars for Kids from holding another event in Selmer without a detailed safety plan.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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