A wrongful death suit was filed last week in Polk County Circuit Court in connection with an August 2018 fatal church van crash that killed three teenagers and injured 10 others.
The petition was filed Tuesday, Oct. 22, against Faith Chapel Assembly of God, Overland Park, Kansas, and Bradley Bailey, Shawnee, Kansas, by Michael and Rachelle Martin of Olathe, Kansas — on behalf of their sons David Thomas Martin, who died as a result of the wreck, and Michael Martin II, 16, who was injured in the wreck.
According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, the wreck occurred when Faith Assembly’s 15-passenger 2001 GMC G3500 van, towing a trailer, was traveling southbound on Mo. 13 on Aug. 10, 2018.
The left rear tire blew out on the van. The van then skidded to the right side of the roadway, where there is a steep embankment. The van overturned and struck a tree, the report said.
The four-count petition alleges the church’s and Bailey’s negligence “caused or contributed to the wreck.”
The second count argues Bailey, who was driving the van, violated Missouri state statute by failing to drive” in a careful and prudent manner” and at a safe speed, as well as “failing to exercise the highest degree of care.”
In addition, the petition alleges both Bailey and the church “knew or had reason to know” that by operating the van in violation of state statute, there was “a high probability of severe injury or death.”
The fourth count claims Faith Chapel was negligent and breached its duties by failing to adequately select drivers, to train them to follow applicable laws, rules and operating procedures, and to adequately supervise them.
It also alleges Faith Chapel was negligent by failing to have an adequate safety program to protect others from negligent and reckless drivers.
The petition requests an unspecified amount of damages on each count for Michael Martin II’s medical expenses and suffering, and costs relating to David Martin’s death and funeral expenses.
The petition also asks for damages in an amount “that will properly punish” the defendants and deter similar alleged conduct.
According to the case docket, summons have been issued to the defendants. As of press time, no court dates had been set.
Records indicate the Martins are represented by Louis Carl Accurso of Kansas City. The defendants’ representation was not listed as of press time Tuesday, Oct. 29.
The BH-FP reached out to Faith Chapel for comment, but as of press time Tuesday, Oct. 29, no response had been received.
Editor Jessica Franklin Maull contributed to this report.