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Driver in fatal crash sues victim's parents

November 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A driver who is serving time for manslaughter after he hit and killed a 14-year-old bicyclist is suing his victim's parents.David Weaving, 48, accuses Stephen and Joanne Kenney of negligence for allowing their son Matthew to ride his bike on a busy street without a helmet.

Prosecutors say Weaving was recklessly passing another car at about 84 mph in a 45-mph zone when he hit and killed the boy on Route 69 in Prospect, Conn in April 2007. A jury convicted him in December 2008 of manslaughter and other crimes, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Weaving has five drunken driving arrests since the late 1990s on his record, four of which resulted in convictions. He was not charged with drunken driving in the Kenney case.

After the conviction, the boy's parents sued Weaving for $15,000 for negligence. Weaving responded months later with a handwritten countersuit accusing the Kenneys of "contributory negligence." He's also seeking more than $15,000 in damages, saying he's endured "great mental and emotional pain and suffering," wrongful conviction and imprisonment, and the loss of his "capacity to carry on in life's activities."

Weaving insists he was driving the speed limit and wasn't acting recklessly when he passed another car in a legal passing zone, and claims Matthew suddenly appeared in the road around dusk in wet, foggy conditions.

In his lawsuit, Weaving wrote that had the Kenneys "complied with the responsibilities of a parent and guardian and the laws of this state and not allowed their son to ride his bicycle without a helmet and to play out in the middle of Rt. 69 ... this incident and Matthew's death would not have happened."

Joanne Kenney calls Weaving's claims "unbelievable."

The countersuit, which can cost hundreds of dollars in court fees alone, was free for Weaving because he's considered indigent. The family however, in order to fight the case, will have to pay their attorney extra money.

While the parents are not talking on camera, their attorney says they are upset about having to deal with their son's death all over again.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.


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