The law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman filed a wrongful death lawsuit today on behalf of a California man who lost his son in a Boise, Idaho truck accident last June.
Attorneys Ronald L. M. Goldman and Clay Robbins III filed the lawsuit today in U.S. District Court of the Fourth District of Idaho, Ada County, on behalf of Lawrence Manlapit Jr. The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of a trucking operation and public entities overseeing a construction site caused the truck crash that killed his son, 26-year-old Lawrence Manlapit III, a Senior Airman in the Air Force. The case number is CV01-19-06625.
The lawsuit names as defendants Krujex Freight Transportation Corp. and subsidiaries; Albertson’s Companies; the estate of Illyas Tsar; Cornelieu Visan, Daniel Visan and Ligra Visan; Penhall Company; Parametrix Inc.; and the State of Idaho, the Idaho Department of Transportation, Idaho State Police, Ada County, Ada County Sheriff’s Department, Ada County Highway Patrol, Ada County Highway District and the City of Boise.
On the night of June 16, 2018, Lawrence Manlapit III, or “Pit” as he was known by his friends, was a passenger in a Jeep Wrangler travelling eastbound on Interstate 84 through Boise. Senior Airman Carlos “C.J.” Johnson of Key West, Florida, and 21-year-old Senior Airman Karlie A. Westall of Sioux Falls, South Dakota were with Manlapit III in the Jeep.
At around 11:30 p.m., 42-year-old truck driver Illya D. Tsar crashed a 2019 Volvo tractor trailer into the back of the Jeep Wrangler, which was idling in a line of traffic due to a construction bottleneck. The impact pushed the Wrangler into another vehicle and started a chain reaction crash that involved seven vehicles and resulted in a massive fire.
Manlapit III, Johnson, Westall and Tsar all died in the crash and ensuing blaze, which Manlapit Jr.’s attorneys say was entirely preventable. According to the Idaho Statesman, truck driver Illya Tsar had a long history of traffic violations. As for the construction bottleneck, the newspaper reported that prior to the fatal Interstate 84 crash, motorists complained to city officials that the construction zone lacked proper signage to warn of the lane merger. “This is an accident waiting to happen,” a Boise resident told 911 dispatchers the night before the fatal crash.
“The senseless deaths of these three young airmen was directly caused by the failure of those responsible for creating a dangerous condition on Idaho’s highways,” says attorney Clay Robbins III. “This condition was known or should have been known by the defendants before this tragedy occurred, and yet they did nothing to eliminate the condition. Their collective failure set in motion the gross negligence of a trucking company allowing a truck driver with many known safety violations to recklessly run into traffic that had been slowed to a stop.”
Background on Defendants Named in Boise Truck Crash Lawsuit
Illya D. Tsar – New York trucker who had more than 20 driving violations in four states, with evidence of more violations in other states.
“His record should have been a red flag to anybody who was considering the employment of his services, or the continuation of his employment as a truck driver.” –Paul Herbert, Western Motor Carrier Safety Institute in California.
Krujex Freight Transportation Corp. – Freight transportation company that retained and entrusted Mr. Tsar to drive the truck.
Cornelieu Visan, Daniel Visan and Ligra Visan – Involved in the ownership of Krujex.
Albertson’s Companies – Grocery company with headquarters in Boise. Contracted with Krujex for freight transportation.
Penhall Company – California-based contractor working on a three-mile stretch of Interstate 84.
Parametrix Inc. – Infrastructure solutions company involved in the construction on Interstate 84.
Idaho Government Entities – Responsible for signage, warnings and pavement markings during construction projects.
Allegations in Boise Truck Accident Lawsuit
According to the complaint, Illyas Tsar was negligent in the operation of the tractor trailer, which resulted in crash that killed Manlapit III and two other Airmen.
Krujex and its operators were negligent in hiring or otherwise retaining Mr. Tsar, who had a long history of driving violations. Had these defendants conducted a thorough investigation of Mr. Tsar’s driving record, they would have learned that he had more than 20 known driving violations in several states, the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit further alleges that Albertson’s failed to conduct a thorough evaluation of Krujex prior to retaining their services. Had they done so, Albertson’s would have learned that Krujex had a rate of driving out of service violations that were three times higher than the national average in the context of the interstate transport of goods by commercial carrier.
As for the construction companies and the Idaho government entities, the lawsuit alleges that they negligently created a dangerous condition that substantially increased the risk of serious traffic accidents and injury or death. Per the complaint, the lane reduction was too abrupt and vehicular traffic was not adequately warned or guided with proper signage, roadways markings or lighting, thereby creating a hazard to vehicles and increasing the potential for high speed rear end collisions in the area of the construction zone.
About Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman
Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman is a national law firm that represents clients in personal injury and wrongful death litigation, particularly in cases involving commercial trucking accidents and other transportation accidents. The firm has handled hundreds of truck accident cases and secured over $1.9 billion on behalf of clients across all areas of practice.