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Family of Marine killed in truck crash receives $8M settlement

Attys. Robert W. Munley III, Marion Munley, Caroline Munley

Representing the Stevens family has been one of the greatest honors of our careers. It has been our privilege to advocate on their behalf and bring this case to a just resolution.  Read more about the case below.

On Monday, the truck accident lawyers at Munley Law reached an $8 million settlement in a case stemming from a deadly truck accident in Susquehanna County. The crash claimed the life of 27-year-old Staff Sergeant Andrew Stevens.  Stevens was an active duty Marine and the father of two young boys. He served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and was in town for his sister’s wedding. His wife Katherine Stevens was represented by Marion Munley, Robert W. Munley, III, and Caroline Munley. The case was scheduled for trial this week before the Honorable John Jones of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“The family was devastated by the loss and we are pleased that we were able to bring some small measure of justice,” said Attorney Robert W. Munley III, Munley Law. “While no amount of money can compensate for the loss of their beloved husband and father, we hope that the resolution of this case will provide the family with some peace of mind and provide for their future security.”

Plaintiff Katherine Stevens alleged that Defendant Taft acted negligently and recklessly in the operation of a water tanker truck, which directly caused a collision and decedent Stevens’ injuries and resulting death.

The four-vehicle collision occurred on January 2, 2015 on State Route 3004 in Springville, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Defendant Taft was operating a 2006 International Harvester water truck, weighing 73,000 pounds, for Canyon Environmental LLC.

That same day, Staff Sergeant Andrew Stevens was operating a 2013 Dodge Durango on State Route 3004 and was lawfully stopped behind two Kenworth tanker trucks that were stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of State Route 3004 and State Route 29. As Defendant Taft descended down a steep decline in the roadway, he lost control and violently struck the Stevens vehicle. The force of the impact propelled Staff Sergeant Stevens’ vehicle forward into the trucks in front of him.

Both trucks in front of Stevens were impacted in the chain collision. The force of the impact caused a fire that completely engulfed Stevens’ vehicle and the Taft water tanker truck. Staff Sergeant Stevens died from the injuries he sustained in the collision.

Staff Sergeant Stevens was 27 years old at the time of the wreck and was a Marine who served combat tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, embassy duty in Zambia and Canada, and was a Drill Instructor training Marine recruits.  At the time of his death, Staff Sergeant Stevens was married to Plaintiff Katherine Stevens and had two young children, ages two and five.

Plaintiff Katherine Stevens alleged that Defendant Canyon Environmental LLC acted negligently and recklessly in failing to train and supervise Defendant Taft, and in failing to adequately inspect, maintain, and repair its commercial vehicles, which directly caused the subject collision and decedent Stevens’ injuries and resulting death.

Prior to this civil action, the District Attorney of Susquehanna County filed criminal charges against Taft including homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, careless driving and reckless driving.  On September 12, 2017, Defendant Taft pled guilty to recklessly endangering another person, and careless driving.

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