$150K Settlement to Family of N.Y. Civic Leader Killed by Car
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on December 9th, 2016
The family of a 68-year-old Northville, N.Y., man who died in 2011 after being struck by a car as he crossed his street to retrieve the mail from his roadside mailbox has reached a $150,000 settlement with the Town of Riverhead, N.Y., whose employee was driving the car.
Kieran “Kerry” Moran, a longtime civic leader in Northville, was struck by a car being driven by Town of Riverhead employee Walter Breitenbach on Sound Shore Road about 1:30 p.m. on July 17, 2010, as Moran was in the roadway, according to a Dec. 7, 2016 story by the Riverhead News-Review newspaper of Mattituck, N.Y.
Moran died from his injuries more than a year later on Sept. 14, 2011, the story reported. Moran’s wife, Bernadette, had filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2011 in connection with the incident.
Breitenbach, the driver of the Town of Riverhead car, died in October 2011 at age 77, the story reported. His wife, Gladys, who was a passenger in the vehicle at the time, also died in 2011. The estates of the Breitenbachs were also named in the lawsuit as defendants, in addition to the Town of Riverhead, the story stated.
The town will pay just under $50,000 toward the settlement, while the rest will be paid by the town’s insurance company, a spokesman told the paper.
“Mr. Breitenbach had given a sworn statement to police at the time of the accident saying that he was only driving around 25 to 30 mph at the time of the accident and had stepped on the brakes and swerved to the left when he saw someone in the road, but could not avoid hitting him,” the story reported. “An accident reconstruction expert who testified at the trial concluded that Mr. Breitenbach was going 28 mph at the time of impact. The speed limit at the time was 35 mph.”
Since the crash, Riverhead town leaders have lowered the speed limit on the roadway to 30 mph after years of complaints from residents, the story reported. “Town officials said they had asked the state to make that change about 10 years ago and only got permission this year.”
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