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George Fusner
George Fusner
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Johnny Kindle Charged with Killing Kelly McQuate On I-24

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A grand jury has indicted Johnny Kindle with vehicular homicide in connection with a wrong-way crash on I-24.

Earlier this year on March 24th, Kelly and Mark McQuate were heading home (from getting married in Key West) on I-24 when their vehicle was struck by Kindle – drunk and heading the wrong direction. Mark survived the crash, but Kelly did not. Mrs. McQuate left behind three children. Mark and his family have experienced an outpouring of community support, but that doesn’t change that Kelly was taken away from them. What a tragedy? Killed when starting a new life.

Who’s responsible? Obviously, Johnny Kindle is both criminally and civilly liable. In Mr. Kindle’s upcoming trial, new facts will surface fully detailing the events leading up to the tragic crash. But if Kindle came from a bar – which is still unclear at this point – then the bar he came from may be liable.

But proving the bar is financially liable is not easy. As I discussed in a post earlier this year, the dram shop laws here in Tennessee make it difficult to hold a bar, bartender, or other alcohol seller liable for an alcohol-related accident. The evidence must prove that the servers knew Kindle to be intoxicated and continued to serve or sell to him. This is a unique standard in tort law – where usually the plaintiff must only show preponderance of the evidence to hold someone liable.

While wrong-way crashes have become a hot topic among personal injury attorneys, each case is very unique. Where this case involved a tragic mistake to drink and drive, the New York accident that occurred recently may end up being much more complex with many unanswered questions.

Johnny made a choice, and a bad one at that. Bad choices mean bad consequences.

More facts will surface once the trial starts, and will be talked about then.