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Officer's family sues Valley Metro

Allege wrongful death in 2006 Loop 101 accident

 by Heather M. Turner
 published on Thursday, September 20, 2007

<b>TAKE THE A TRAIN:</b> Light rail construction continues along Fifth Street near Mill Avenue Wednesday./issues/news/701861
Chris Atwood / THE STATE PRESS
TAKE THE A TRAIN: Light rail construction continues along Fifth Street near Mill Avenue Wednesday.
 

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The family of a Tempe police officer who died last year in a motorcycle accident is suing Valley Metro Rail and the state of Arizona for the officer's death.

Officer Kevin Weeks died Sept. 28, 2006, on his way home at the end of his shift as a City of Tempe Motorcycle Patrol Officer when he collided with railroad ties and wooden beams that were being used with light rail construction.

Weeks's parents, Alan and Paula, and his sister Karyn filed a civil lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging that Valley Metro and the state of Arizona were negligent in failing to prevent Weeks from driving onto the southbound on-ramp of Loop 101 below Apache Boulevard. Weeks collided with the railroad ties and beams once on the ramp.

Valley Metro was served with papers Tuesday, said Marty McNeil, communications manager for Metro.

"Our lawyers are looking at them and beyond that we cannot comment," McNeil said.

Sundt Construction, Inc., Stacy and Witbeck, Inc., CMX, LLC, and Action Barricade Company, LLC, were also listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

Representing the Weeks family is Michael Napier, who wouldn't comment because the case is pending.

Prior to the accident, Weeks and other Department of Public Safety and motor officers traveled the southbound Loop 101 on a frequent and regular basis, according to the complaint.

Despite the defendant's awareness of the law enforcement personnel's use of the roadway, they were negligent in warning traffic of the dangerous condition of the underpass, according to the complaint.

The family is seeking compensation for damages including cost of medical care and services, funeral and burial expenses, and their emotional hardships involved with the death of a family member, according to the complaint.

Matt Stone contributed to this story. Reach the reporter at: heather.m.turner@asu.edu.



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