Crash victim’s family
claims negligence in suit


Thursday, April 8, 2003

>> Na Van filed suit Monday in Circuit Court against the driver of a truck and others in relation to an accident that killed his wife, Huong Truong, on Pali Highway on Dec. 23, 2003. An article on Page A5 in Tuesday's early edition incorrectly stated that the accident occurred Dec. 23, 2001.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

The family of a Palama woman who was killed when a dump truck lost control on the Pali Highway and slammed head-on into the car in which she was riding is suing the driver of the truck and others.

Na Van was driving the family's van with his wife, Huong Truong, in the front passenger seat Dec. 23, 2001, when the crash occurred. The truck also hit a utility pole before it overturned its load, striking another car.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in Circuit Court yesterday by Na Van and the couple's 11 children are Edmond Schuman, the truck driver; Daniel Sawicki, registered owner of the truck; Rick's Heavy Equipment, the employer or agent of Schuman, and its officers, Richard Martin and Eric Martin.

Eric Martin said he had not seen the suit and declined comment. The others could not be reached for comment.

The truck was carrying gravel sold by Ameron from the Kapaa Quarry for use on a construction project in which Viking Craft Inc. was the general contractor, the suit said. Ameron Hawaii and Viking Craft Inc. are also named as defendants. Neither could be reached for immediate comment.

The suit seeks damages to be determined at trial.

According to the suit, Rick's Heavy Equipment and the Martins were negligent for employing Schuman and were liable with Sawicki for failing to ensure that the truck was safe for use by people trained and licensed to drive commercial vehicles.

The suit also alleges that the truck was overloaded with gravel from Ameron's Kapaa Quarry, making the truck unsafe to drive, and that Viking Craft Inc., as the general contractor, failed to ensure that procedures regarding the loading and hauling of gravel were followed.

According to police, Schuman was not licensed to drive commercial trucks.

He was arrested for suspicion of negligent homicide and released pending further investigation.

The truck also had an expired safety inspection sticker and police were investigating whether the truck's brakes may have failed.

Police said yesterday that their investigation is continuing and no criminal charges have been filed.


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