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Victim's husband sues Smithsburg man charged in her death

August 19, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Smithsburg man charged with negligent manslaughter by automobile in the May 25 death of a Boonsboro mother faces a $6 million wrongful death lawsuit filed Friday in Washington County Circuit Court by the victim's husband.

Harry William "Billy" Shrader Jr., 45, of 12435 Pleasant Valley Road in Smithsburg, was charged in an accident on Md. 77 that claimed the life of Debra Reed Fields-Jordan, 35, of Boonsboro.

Fields-Jordan was eastbound on Md. 77 on a motorcycle when a pickup truck traveling south on Pleasant Valley Road ran a stop sign at the intersection with Md. 77, police have alleged.

Fields-Jordan's motorcycle, which had the right of way, struck the pickup truck on the passenger side. The truck struck a tree south of the intersection and the driver fled on foot, police said.

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In the first count of his complaint against Shrader, Stephen J, Jordan alleges that as a result of Shrader's "negligent conduct," Jordan suffered "mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort protection, marital care, attention, advice, counsel, training guidance, education and love of his wife."

Jordan asked for $2 million in compensatory damages from Shrader in the first count of the complaint.

In the second count, as the representative of his wife's estate, Jordan alleges that Shrader inflicted "cruel and inhuman treatment and wanton wrongs, with malice, when he drove intoxicated and failed to stop at a stop sign, causing Debra M. Fields-Jordan to crash into the truck he was driving."

Jordan further alleges in the suit that his wife, "consciously suffered great physical pain, emotional distress, medical care, funeral expenses, and other losses and damages."

Jordan asked for $2 million in compensatory damages for that count of the complaints, and another $2 million in punitive damages.

Shrader was arrested on the criminal charges on May 29 at his attorney's office. He has requested a jury trial in Washington County Circuit Court on those charges.

He continued to be held without bond Monday afternoon at the Washington County Detention Center, a deputy said.

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