Woman Left Quadriplegic by Poor Road, Sues

Woman Left Quadriplegic by Poor Road, Sues

A woman who now suffers from quadriplegia as a result of a car accident allegedly caused by poor roads has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the county road commission.

The suit, filed on the behalf of Angela Roush, claims that the Kalkaska County Road Commission failed to adequately maintain the gravel road on which Roush was driving when her SUV flipped over and caught on fire almost two years ago.

The Accident

Roush and her friend, Jesse Krumlauf, whose hair she had just cut, were on their way to their friend’s house in separate cars when the accident happened.

Krumlauf said he saw Roush’s mangled SUV as he drove over a hill. Roush’s foot was stuck under the emergency brake.

Krumlauf got out to help her, but as he struggled to free Roush, flames burst out from under the car’s hood, and smoke poured into the passenger compartment through the vents. He retreated momentarily.

“And she’s screaming, ‘Don’t let me burn up, don’t let me die,’” said Krumlauf. “I was thinking the worst. It was going to blow up, and we were both going to die.”

He went back in and pulled her to safety.

Previous Complaints Concerning the Road

There had been at least two maintenance requests filed with the County Road Commission regarding the road where Roush had the accident, the suit said.

Scott Ellis said in one of the filed reports that the road was “so soggy that vehicles are getting bogged down and could cause an accident,” said the suit.

Former road commission member Harold Scheffer said that Ellis may have filed the complaints, but he didn’t think they made their way to Ellis’ supervisor immediately.

The Aftermath

Roush is now confined to a wheelchair and needs constant care. “My caregivers are with me when I go to school and they take my notes and help me with my tests and stuff,” she said. “Basically my aides are like my arms and legs; they do for me what I can’t do myself.”

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