By Jack Stephens
Published in News on February 20, 2004 2:03 PM
Worth T. Haithcock II, who stopped to help a stranded driver, then was struck by a passing vehicle and lost a leg in the collision, is suing the other driver for more than $10,000 for gross negligence.
Haithcock, the son of Goldsboro lawyer Tim and Karen Haithcock, was a third-year student at the Campbell University Law School. He stopped at about 9:30 p.m. Oct. 8, 2003, to assist a driver whose pickup had become disabled alongside State Road 1518, three miles east of Lillington, in Harnett County.
The lawsuit contends that while Haithcock was helping the other driver fix a flat tire, a car driven by Christy Lynne Champion of Coats, collided with the stopped vehicle, knocking it into and over Haithcock and then drove into him as well.
Ms. Champion was charged by the Highway Patrol with driving while impaired and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.
Haithcock is suing Ms. Champion and the owner of the car that she was driving, Ralph Cecil Bennett of Garner, for more than $10,000, the highest amount that can be announced in a lawsuit under state law, for damages. Juries can award greater amounts in personal injury lawsuits.
Haithcock was listed in critical condition for a while during his hospital recovery. His medical bills have exceeded $300,000, the suit alleges, and he should incur future medical expenses.
Another investigation has revealed that the disabled pickup truck had been stolen from Dixie Worrell Barwick of Oak Forest Road in Goldsboro. According to Goldsboro police reports, two men entered Ms. Barwick's home Sept. 10, assaulted her, took the keys to her 1988 Toyota pickup and drove it away.
The civil lawsuit was filed by Haithcock's lawyer, Glenn Barfield of Goldsboro, in the Wayne County Clerk of Courts Office. The defendants have not answered the suit.
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