Wrongful death alleged in trucker's drowning

| 10/19/2006

The family of one of the two truckers who died when their rigs were swept away in floodwaters in southern New York in June has filed a wrongful death suit against the state.

According to the Elmira Star-Gazette, the family of 42-year-old David Swingle of Waverly, NY, contends that transportation officials should have closed Interstate 88 to traffic before floodwaters carved out a 150-foot-wide swath and carried Swingle and his truck downstream.

The suit claims that, based on prior inspections, state officials should have known the section of highway was vulnerable during floods.

A second trucker - 55-year-old Patrick O'Connell of Lisbon, ME - also died in the flooding. His family also intends to sue, their lawyer told the Star-Gazette.