Suit filed in crash that killed Hobart family

Suit filed in crash that killed Hobart family

Mother, brother sue trucker, company, say driver was negligent

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The mother and brother of a Hobart man killed with his wife and three children in a fiery car wreck last summer are suing the commercial truck driver involved in the accident on Interstate 65 near Crown Point.

The suit filed on behalf of the relatives of Brian Workman, 33, accuses truck driver Forest E. Stover, of Huber Heights, Ohio, and his employer, nationwide trucking firm Con-way Freight, of wrongfully causing Workman's death in the crash that killed the family of five in the early moments of their trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

The suit, filed on behalf of Workman's mother, Lisa Gennarelli, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and his brother, Scott Workman, of Lake Station, claims Stover drove his semitrailer negligently.

"This was a horrible, tragic accident for everyone involved," Con-way spokesman Gary Frantz said. "Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to the Workman family and the extended community that has been affected by this tragedy. Given that the matter is now in litigation, the company is unable to comment further."

Stover could not be reached Friday for comment.

Brian Workman, his wife, Joanna L. Workman, 31, and their three children, Ashley, 13, Tyler, 8, and Ryan, 1, died about 4 a.m. June 26 in the crash on I-65 near U.S. 231. They were killed when their pickup truck was smashed between two southbound semitrailers in slowed traffic. Stover drove the semi that pushed the pickup from behind.

The Workmans' vehicle caught fire after the crash. Police said traffic was slow because tow trucks were moving the car of a Gary man police had pursued. The man refused to stop and fled on foot, police said.

The suit was filed in Lake County court, but lawyers for Con-way filed a motion to kick the suit into federal court. A federal judge will have to rule on jurisdiction.

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