The family of a Battle Ground girl who died after being struck by a vehicle at her school bus stop and a man who lost part of his leg in another accident at the same stop are set to receive about $1.7 million in total payouts in a settlement of tort claims regarding both accidents, court filings show.
Late last month, the family of Elizabeth Smith was ordered to receive close to $500,000 in payouts as part of a tort claim filed after she was hit by a vehicle at her bus stop at Northeast 82nd Avenue northwest of Battle Ground in October 2016. One payment of more than $200,000 would be directed to the estate of Smith, who was 11 at the time of her death. Another $290,000 would go to her sister, CeraAnn Smith, paid out in regular payments beginning in 2024, with a lump sum of $25,000 in 2028 and close to $93,000 in 2031, according to court filings.
CeraAnn Smith was present at the bus stop during the accident. She saw her sister, who was crossing the street near the bus stop, be struck by David Lemke. Reports at the time of the accident indicated that foggy conditions led to the crash, and no sign of impairment on the part of Lemke was found during the investigation.
The other plaintiff in the court cases, Justin Carey, is set to receive about $1.2 million in connection to his claim, which stems from a June 2013 accident at the stop. Carey was hit by a car as it veered off the road, resulting in serious injuries that led to the amputation of the lower half of his right leg, as well as traumatic brain injury that resulted in short term memory loss.
The motorist in Carey’s accident, Shaun Johnson, was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 2017, according to court records.
An attorney for Clark County, one of the defendants in the case, confirmed the county had settled with Carey for $400,000. The Columbian newspaper had reported that Cascade Student Transportation, the contractors for bus service with Battle Ground Public Schools, would settle with Carey for $800,000. A representative for Cascade could not be reached as of press deadline.
The tort claims for Carey and Smith were filed in 2017 and initially asked for $20 million for each party.