Sparta Woman Involved in Wreck Sues Smithville and Two City Employees

A 34 year old Sparta woman, who was involved in a traffic accident with a city garbage truck on Highway 70 east near Sligo bridge almost a year ago, has filed a circuit court lawsuit against the City of Smithville and the two men in the truck, Ronnie Walker and Jerry Rackley.
Allison Long is asking for a jury trial and seeks a judgment against the defendants including compensatory damages in the amount of $500,000, cost and disbursements incurred, pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest in amounts allowed by law, and such other general relief to which the court deems just and equitable.
The accident occurred on February 27th, 2009. After investigating the mishap on that day, Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 57 year old Ronnie Walker of Smithville, a city employee, was operating a 1999 freightliner garbage truck going west on Highway 70. Another city employee, 39 year old Jerry Rackley of Smithville, was a passenger in the truck. The two were apparently returning from the landfill where they had dumped a load of garbage. Long was going east on Highway 70 in a 2007 Dodge Durango.
According to Trooper Jennings, Long claims as she was negotiating a curve coming down the hill, she saw the garbage truck in her lane. As she applied her brakes, the Durango slid on the rain slick highway and struck the side of the truck at an angle in the westbound lane. Long’s vehicle came to a final rest in the ditchline facing a rock wall. The truck continued west for a few feet and also went off the road in the ditchline and struck the rock wall.
Walker and Rackley were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. Long was to have gone to the Cookeville hospital by a private vehicle.
Neither of them were believed to have been seriously injured.
Trooper Jennings says Walker was cited for failure to exercise care.
In the lawsuit, Long claims she was in her proper lane of travel, observing the posted speed limit, and was operating her vehicle in a safe and prudent manner and that Walker or Rackley were operating the truck, belonging to the city, within their scope of employment.
Long says as a result of the negligent and lack of due care of the defendants and their failure to properly supervise and control the truck, it crossed into her lane of traffic and collided head on with her vehicle resulting in damages to her Durango and serious bodily injuries to her.
Long alleges that she was required to seek and obtain medical care and treatment for her injuries, sustained a loss in her earning capacity, incurred expenses, suffered mental and physical pain and a reduction in the enjoyment and quality of life. In addition, Long is suing the defendants for all damages permitted by law for her personal injury and property damage, including but not limited to past and future medical bills, past and future mental and physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and emotional distress, past and future loss of earning capacity, lost wages, permanent injury, and all other damages permitted by law.

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