Jury awards funeral costs in lawsuit over fatal crash

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008

St. Mary’s jurors awarded $2,500 on Friday to the estate of a 15-year-old Charlotte Hall girl to pay for her funeral after a 2006 crash on Route 5 near Loveville.

Tiakeshia ‘‘Tee” Renee Thompson was riding as a passenger in a car with other Chopticon High School students on the morning of Jan. 6 of that year, police report, when the car crossed the highway’s centerline and collided with a St. Mary’s public transportation bus. After three days of testimony in a lawsuit from the crash, jurors deliberated Friday and reached a verdict that the car’s driver, Brandon Lydell Short, was negligent in the operation of the Ford sedan, which resulted in the girl’s injuries. The jurors found that bus driver William McClair Gettys Jr. was not negligent in the operation of that vehicle.

The lawsuit filed by Thompson’s parents sought $1.2 million in damages. Both motorists denied liability in the matter. The trial jurors ruled that the girl’s parents were not entitled to non-economic damages.

Lawyers for Short, a 17-year-old Chopticon student from Mechanicsville at the time of the crash, had sought a delay of this month’s trial on grounds that he was scheduled to start training in an instructional baseball league, as a recruit of the Chicago White Sox organization.