The widow of a Buckner man killed in a rear-end crash has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit for $7 million.
The suit claimed “negligent entrustment” on the part of a company that employed the uncle of the man who allegedly caused the death. That man, Theron Michael Stockbridge, 22, of Sibley, is in the Jackson County jail. He is scheduled to go on trial July 11 on charges of involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.
Aaron C. Overman, 34, was killed in the crash on March 27, 2015, at U.S. 24 and Blue Mills Road in Independence. Overman’s vehicle was stopped at a red light when it was struck from behind by a pickup truck that may have been traveling as fast as 82 mph.
Alexa Overman sued Stockbridge and his uncle, James Allen Stockbridge, also of Sibley. The suit also named the uncle’s employer, APAC-Kansas Inc.
APAC is a road-building materials company. Overman’s attorneys said APAC closed its Sugar Creek quarry and transferred some employees to its Louisburg, Kan., operation. One of those was James Stockbridge, who was allowed to use a company-owned pickup truck to get to and from work.
The lawsuit said the company was negligent in entrusting the vehicle to Stockbridge, who had “a history of reckless behavior,” including DUI. The suit said on the night of Overman’s death, James Stockbridge allowed his nephew Theron Stockbridge to use the company-owned pickup.
The settlement was approved Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.