LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The family of a woman killed after a semitruck driver hauling an excavator crashed into a bridge on Aug. 8 filed a wrongful death suit against the companies and driver involved.
The Dan Caplis Law Firm, LLC, is representing Brian Christianson and Mirella Isabel (“Isabel”) Williams, who are the parents of the deceased, Megan Mirella Arneson, and the legal guardians of her surviving son.
Arneson’s 10-year-old son was in their 2011 Honda CR-V when he and his mom were heading to Water World on northbound Interstate 25 through Weld County. The driver of the semitruck, Darnell Yingling, was in front of Arneson’s SUV when the Case CX145D SR excavator with the 2010 Peterbilt tractor he was hauling struck the Weld County Road 34 bridge as Yingling drove under it.
When the excavator struck the bridge, Arneson veered left trying to avoid debris flying but a large piece of concrete crashed through her windshield. The impact knocked the excavator off the truck bed it was on and it landed on its side in the middle of I-25.
Arneson’s SUV ended up in the median and a family that witnessed the crash immediately stopped and got to the vehicle. They saw the 10-year-old and saw Arneson was not ok and got the boy out of the SUV, the lawsuit said.
First responders performed life-saving measures on Arneson but she died at the scene. Arneson’s son was medically treated for injuries sustained in the crash.
The document states that the Colorado Department of Transportation’s “minimum clearance of 16’-0” and a
maximum clearance of 17’-1” for the bridge in the northeast direction” was visible on the bridge. The excavator loaded on the trailer exceeded the maximum clearance height and the lawsuit claims Yingling “recklessly failed to ensure the excavator could safely travel under the overpass bridge at Interstate 25 and Weld County Road 34 prior to departing.”
The lawsuit is seeking monetary and non-monetary compensatory relief for physical, emotional and loss of wages stemming from the deadly crash for Arneson’s son and her parents.