Widow sues speed­way

Sharon Stevens seek­ing dam­ages for 2013 death of stock car driver Mike Stevens

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY

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.


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