A wrongful death suit has been filed in the matter of a fatal June 30 wreck that occurred in Pulaski County, Missouri.
Around 10 p.m. on the day of the wreck, 52-year-old Stephen Huttinett was killed when his Ford truck collided with a flatbed trailer being pulled by a dump truck. The accident also severely injured his wife, Sharon Huttinett, who was a passenger in the vehicle at the time. The lawsuit has been filed by unnamed parties on Sharon’s behalf.
The suit alleges that the vehicle was not maintained or secured properly in the time preceding the accident. Reports indicate that the flatbed had no working air brakes nor rear lights, both of which could have helped prevent the collision. Further, the flatbed was apparently not properly secured with towing chains at the time of the impact, leading it to break away from the truck and cause the fatal accident.
Huttinett was apparently killed at the scene, in part due to the speed at which the vehicles were traveling on the state highway at the time of the impact.
Neither attorneys for the defense nor the state Highway Patrol are commenting on the matter. The latter, however, are investigating the case and collecting information about the crash even now. No word has yet been released on when the first hearings on the case will be held, nor is there any indication what defense the defendants will be using. Kenneth Helton and Douglas Sloan of Sloan Excavating have been charged as defendants in the case. Helton was driving the truck at the time of the accident, and as a passenger in the vehicle it is expected that Sloan would have helped secure the trailer before they set out.
Huttinett is survived by three daughters, ages 11, 13 and 27. He and Sharon were married for 13 years at the time of the accident. He was also an Eagle Scout, and volunteered in the scouts as an adult.