Calera firefighters mother files suit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The mother of a Calera firefighter has enlisted the service of high-profile attorney Stephen Heninger in a $12 million lawsuit for the wrongful death of her son.

Joyce Roy filed the suit in Shelby County&8217;s Circuit Court nearly two months after her 25-year-old son, Chris, was killed in an accident while responding to an emergency call.

Chris Roy died Nov. 28 when the fire truck he was driving collided with an 18-wheeler at the intersection of Shelby County 87 and the Interstate 65 South exit ramp. No one else was injured in the wreck.

Named as defendants in the suit are Ronald A. Musgrave, the driver of the 18-wheeler, and Mitchell Lane Roper, who was driving a dump truck at the scene but was not involved in the collision.

Musgrave was driving his truck on behalf of the Illinois company Star Transport, which was also named as a defendant in the suit.

According to the suit, Roy&8217;s death was caused by Roper, Musgrave and Star Transport, who &8220;negligently caused or negligently allowed their vehicles to be operated in such a manner that they pulled out into the path of the oncoming emergency vehicle.&8221;

The fatal wreck is still under investigation as a traffic-related homicide, but that process is expected to wrap up soon, according to Sgt. Tim Sartain, a spokesman for the Alabama State Troopers.

Sartain said the dump truck and 18-wheeler entered the intersection during a green light at the same time as the fire truck, which continued through a red light with its lights and siren turned on. The dump truck was able to clear the intersection as the accident occurred.

&8220;It&8217;s something we need to be aware of,&8221; Sartain said. &8220;Emergency vehicles are out and we need to be extra cautious.&8221;

Heninger, a partner in the Birmingham firm Heninger, Burge, Vargo and Davis, has recently been at the center of some of the state&8217;s most highly publicized civil cases.

He represented former Alabama football coach Mike Price in his multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against Sports Illustrated and was also hired by artist Daniel Moore concerning his licensing dispute with the University of Alabama.

Moore&8217;s legal battles with the university continue, but Price&8217;s suit was settled for an undisclosed amount.

After his death, Calera Fire Station No. 2 was named in honor of Chris Roy, a lifelong resident and grandson of Mayor George Roy. More than 100 emergency vehicles from around the state showed up for his funeral in Calera