Widow sues speedway
Sharon Stevens seeking damages for 2013 death of stock car driver Mike Stevens
The widow of a stock car driver who died at Oyster Bed Speedway two years ago has filed a lawsuit claiming the death could have been prevented.
A statement of claim dated June 18 has been filed in the Supreme Court of P.E.I. with plaintiff Sharon Stevens seeking damages from defendants Oyster Bed Speedway and Maritime Pro Stock Tour.
The woman’s late husband Mike Stevens died following a crash at the track in Oyster Bed on Aug. 3, 2013, during the 98th lap of the 100-lap finale.
The 30-yearold driver’s car had flipped on to its roof following a crash into the wall.
The driver was uninjured from the initial impact, but died of suffocation after releasing his safety harness while still upside down in the vehicle.
No charges were laid in the fatality and the RCMP determined at the time that the race was “run in conjunction with reasonable safety protocols that were followed’’.
Sharon Stevens, however, directs full blame in her husband’s death on Oyster Bed Speedway and Maritime Pro Stock Tour, which sanctioned the race.
In her lawsuit, she cites nine alleged areas of negligence on the part of Oyster Bed Speedway, including the speedway being operated in “an incompetent manner’’ and Oyster Bed Speedway showing “a lack of due care and attention by failing to act in a timely manner.’’
The plaintiff is claiming a host of damages, including “the loss of guidance, care, and companionship’’ of a husband and a father to two small children.
Bill Kinney, co-owner of Oyster Bed Speedway, says he was not aware of the lawsuit before being contacted by The Guardian Monday.
“We know nothing about it,’’ he said.
“This is the first we’ve heard from the Stevens family since the accident.’’
Kinney said fellow drivers raised money two years ago to assist the fallen driver’s family. The family never responded to calls from Oyster Bed Speedway, so the money was sent to a trust fund, he added.
Ken Cunning, general manager of Maritime Pro Stock Tour, also learned of the lawsuit through The Guardian Monday.
“I didn’t know a claim was initiated and obviously haven’t read it, so I have no comment,’’ he said.
The defendants — Oyster Bed Speedway and Maritime Pro Stock Tour — have 20 days from the time they are served the statement of claim to file a statement of defence.