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Suit filed in fatal 1995 wreck

July 29, 1997

By DON AINES

Staff writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A Hagerstown man convicted in the drunken driving death of a Falling Waters, W.Va., teenager two years ago is being sued by the youth's father, who filed a multi-million-dollar damage suit in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

The suit was filed Friday by Bobby Ray Davis Sr. whose son, Brian Keith Davis, died in a head-on collision on July 26, 1995. He is suing William A. Tosten Jr., 28, who at the time of the accident lived at 12 Lee St., Hagerstown.

The suit is asking for $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Davis's attorney Lawrence Schultz said that if the case goes before a jury, he would not be able to ask for a specific amount in damages.

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Tosten pleaded guilty to driving under the influence causing death on May 2, 1996, and was sentenced to one to 10 years in prison, according to Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely. She did not know if he was still in prison.

The suit claims Tosten's blood alcohol level was 0.235 percent at the time of the accident, more than twice the legal limit for intoxication. "By his own admission, Tosten was also under the influence of drugs," the suit stated.

Court records stated that Tosten was driving on Broad Lane when his car crossed the center line and collided with a car driven by Shawn Gordon. Brian Davis was riding in the Gordon car.

Although that other driver's insurance company also is named in the suit for refusing to provide coverage for Davis, Schultz said, "we are not saying in any way that Shawn Gordon was at fault."

The suit asks for a jury trial by July of next year.

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