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Woman sues former son-in-law over her daughter's death in August 2005 crash

July 07, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN-A Hagerstown woman filed a wrongful death action against her former son-in-law Friday in Washington County Circuit Court, claiming he is responsible for the death of her daughter, Michelle Denise Huff.

Lilly Younker demanded compensation of $1 million in her lawsuit against Steven Lawrence Huff, 46, of 13822 Vantz St. in Hancock.

Michelle Huff, 39, was killed in an Aug. 6, 2005, vehicle accident in Warren Township, Pa.

Steven Huff told police he was southbound in a 1988 Ford pickup in the 9000 block of Little Cove Road that night when a deer ran in front of the vehicle, according to court records. He told police he swerved to avoid the deer, then lost control of the vehicle, which struck a tree, The Herald-Mail has reported.

Michelle Huff was pronounced dead at the scene.

Steven Huff was charged by Pennsylvania State Police with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child in the accident. Huff has not yet been tried on those charges, according to court records.

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Steven Huff's granddaughter, Makayla Huff, then 4, was treated for injuries she sustained in the crash, police said.

In her suit, Younker claimed that Steven Huff owed it to Michelle Huff to drive his vehicle "in a lawful, safe, careful and prudent manner."

Because Steven Huff failed to keep the vehicle under control and operated it in a reckless manner, among other claims, he breached his duty to Michelle Huff, according to the suit.

Michelle Huff suffered "severe, painful, and massive injuries to her head, face, chest, back, limbs, and body and suffered intense and severe pain, suffering, agony, and mental anguish, including pre-impact fright," according to the suit.

All of Michelle Huff's injuries, funeral expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, and fright are the result of Steven Huff's negligence, according to the suit.

Younker also filed a request Friday to have her case tried before a jury.

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