The family of a 16-year-old Ross River girl killed in a car crash two years ago has filed a lawsuit against the driver in civil court.
Katelyn Sterriah died in 2012. Earlier this year, 25-year-old David Magill was sentenced to 25 months in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and obstruction of justice. He originally lied to the police about what happened, the court heard.
Now Magill is facing a lawsuit from Sterriah’s parents, Michael Medcalfe and Frida Sterriah. They’re each suing him, and the owner of the car he was driving, for $90,000 for bereavement, post-traumatic stress, funeral costs and loss of income.
The family is claiming negligence led to the crash.
At Magill’s criminal sentencing the court heard Sterriah was a passenger in a truck that drove off the end of a dirt road and into the Pelly River.
Four people escaped, but Sterriah drowned.
The group had been drinking that day in July when Magill got behind the wheel around 6 a.m.
Prosecutors say he was driving fast along a dirt road. When the passengers yelled to stop he hit the breaks, skidded and ended up in the river.
Investigators were originally told it was one of Sterriah’s friends who was behind the wheel. The teenaged girl spent four days in custody before the truth came out.
The group was concerned for Magill because he had a young child.
In their lawsuit, Sterriah’s parents are claiming Magill was negligent when he operated the vehicle while his abilities were impaired, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to keep the vehicle under control and drove recklessly.
The document names Marie Atkinson as the possible owner of the car Magill was driving. The lawsuit is accusing her of negligence for not maintaining the vehicle properly and for allowing someone to operate the vehicle while they were impaired and not properly trained.
At Magill’s criminal sentencing Medcalfe spoke about his daughter. He called her a person who touched the hearts of many.
“Where is my daughter Katelyn’s freedom to walk and talk and finish her life’s journey?” he said at the time.
Magill apologized in court for what happened and for lying after the fact.
A statement of defence has not been filed in this latest case. None of the civil charges have been proven in court.
A case management conference is scheduled for July 22.
Contact Ashley Joannou at