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$10 million lawsuit filed in U.S. 30 crash

$10 million lawsuit filed in U.S. 30 crash

Police: Probe continues into what caused driver to hit vehicles

VALPARAISO | A $10 million lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the man who police say crashed into numerous vehicles one week ago on U.S. 30 in Valparaiso.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Darla Kirn, the 46-year-old Valparaiso woman whose right arm was mutilated and whose right hand had to be amputated after 42-year-old Carl Walker, of Knox, crashed into her vehicle and several other vehicles.

The lawsuit also seeks compensation for Kirn's husband, Arnold Kirn, who was not involved in the crash, and their son, Christopher, who was injured in the crash.

The lawsuit targets Walker, who was driving a Walker's Specialized Logistics pickup truck, and truck owner Charles Walker and Walker's Specialized Logistics. A woman who identified herself as Charles Walker's wife Wednesday declined to comment.

According to the lawsuit filed by Merrillville attorney Timothy Schafer, Carl Walker "operated his motor vehicle while impaired and suffering from a known medical condition." The lawsuit states the company knew or should have known Walker was incapable of safely operating the truck. Police note that their investigation continues into whether Walker crashed due to substances in his system, a medical episode or some other reason.

Witnesses told police Walker was westbound on U.S. 30, heading out of Valparaiso, on the afternoon of Aug. 6 and struck the rear of a van stopped for a red light at County Road 250 West. Witnesses reported he then turned around and headed east into Valparaiso, where he struck five vehicles before his truck ended up in a ditch.

Darla Kirn was the most seriously injured of the accident victims, followed by her son. The lawsuit states Darla Kirn "suffered severe pain and permanent injury to her spine with fractures to her vertebrae and her right hand was crushed and severed." The lawsuit states Christopher Kirn suffered injuries that include a dislocated knee. The suit also states Arnold Kirn has lost companionship and incurred bills.

Police said there were minor injuries reported in at least one of the other vehicles that was hit. Police said all the injured people are expected to recover.

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