Posted on Jan 17, 2006
Jury awards $312,815 to dad of girl killed in crash
By JOHN HOPKINS, The Virginian-Pilot
© January 13, 2006
CHESAPEAKE — A jury has awarded $312,815 to the father of a 12-year-old girl killed two years ago in a car crash on the Chesapeake Expressway.
After a two-day trial this week in Chesapeake Circuit Court, the jury found against Jacqueline L. Riser for the May 2, 2004, collision. The crash on the Va. 168 bypass left a 22-year-old Chesapeake woman and the 12-year-old girl dead and sent six other people to hospitals.
Billie N. Keen Jr., the father of Brittney Nicole Keen, was awarded $12,815 for her funeral expenses and an additional $300,000.
The lawsuit was one of several filed against Riser after the crash. At least two others have been settled before trial.
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Riser was traveling southbound that Sunday when she lost control of her sport utility vehicle, police said. The vehicle crossed the median, went airborne and crashed into a car and a truck in the northbound lanes, police said.
Riser’s attorney told the jury that his client has maintained that another motorist to her right, in a silver vehicle, veered into her lane, causing her to lose control and go across the median. The other driver, named as a John Doe defendant in the lawsuit, is unknown. The jury did not find against the John Doe defendant.
Brittney Keen, a seventh-grader at Kempsville Middle School, was traveling northbound near Kempsville Road in a Dodge pickup with her family when she was fatally injured in the crash.
Stephanie M. Peterson, 22, was in a northbound Oldsmobile Cutlass when she was killed in the multi vehicle collision. She died at the scene. Her 5-year-old son, Marquis S. Williams Jr., was seriously injured.
Lawsuits filed on behalf of Peterson and her son were settled April 6, 2004, according to court records.
Keen’s lawsuit accused Riser of driving “negligently and carelessly.” She was charged with reckless driving and convicted in General District Court.
She appealed her conviction in October 2004 to Circuit Court, where she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of improper driving, according to court records. She was fined $250 and ordered to pay $138 in court costs, according to court records.