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Jury finds paving company, state blameless in fatal crash

June 07, 2000

A Washington County Circuit Court civil jury Tuesday found the State of Maryland and Craig Paving Company were blameless in connection with a traffic accident that claimed the lives of three teenagers five years ago.

Robert and Catherine Horst of Cearfoss filed the lawsuit in 1998. They were seeking $3.5 million in damages for the deaths of their twin 16-year-old sons, Shawn and Shane Horst, in 1995.

The boys, who were on their way to school, were passengers in a car driven by their friend and next-door neighbor, Travis Christopher Hyman, 16.

All three died when Hyman's 1990 Toyota Corolla crossed the center line on the Greencastle Pike and struck a dump truck head-on.

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The lawsuit alleged the crash was caused by recent road work, which left a "severe dropoff" between the freshly paved road and the shoulder.

The Toyota ran off the right shoulder and overcorrected when it came back onto the road, propelling it across the road into the truck's path, the lawsuit alleged.

The lawsuit claimed the state failed to warn motorists of the dangerous dropoff and that Craig Paving failed to bring the shoulder height up to the level of the fresh paving.

After two days of testimony, the jury found no negligence on the part of the state or the paving company.

- Marlo Barnhart

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