A battalion chief for the Danville Fire Department and the city of Danville are being sued over a fatal crash in May 2015.
Amy Tieman Thelen, the administrator and personal representative of the Estate of Edward Arthur Weiss, is suing Michael J. Mulholland and the city regarding the crash that killed Weiss, on behalf of his daughter, Katherine Wilmhoff, according to the lawsuit.
There are two counts being alleged:
• that “Mulholland, negligently, recklessly, carelessly, willfully, and wantonly failed to operate his vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner,” causing the death of Weiss; and
• that the city of Danville is “negligent in causing and permitting Mulholland to operate said vehicle.”
The lawsuit stems from a crash that occurred on May 8, 2015.
At about 10:45 a.m. that day, Mulholland was responding to a car fire near Cheddar’s restaurant, according to news archives. He was heading south through the intersection with sirens and lights activated.
“The vehicle had nearly cleared the intersection when it collided with the northbound three-wheeled motorcycle that was turning left onto the bypass and then head-on into a Nissan SUV that was in the northbound turning lane,” an archived news article reads.
According to Gary King, a witness quoted in a May 12, 2015 article, “the fire vehicle entered the intersection against a red light and was ‘creeping through’ when the motorcycle, which was traveling was in the southernmost lane on the bypass under a green light, crashed into the passenger side.”
At the time, King estimated the motorcycle to be traveling between 35-45 mph and said it did not appear to try to slow down before crashing into the slowly moving fire vehicle.
“It was sudden impact,” he said.
King said a tractor-trailer had moved through the light just before the motorcycle in the inside lane and “may have served as a moving screen that prevented Weiss from seeing or hearing the fire vehicle, and/or obscuring Mulholland’s view of the motorcycle.
“‘I’m not saying it was anyone’s fault,’ he said. ‘I think it was just one of those freak accidents that happen when different factors come together.’”
King also stated that he and his girlfriend had attempted to attend Weiss and his wife, as did Mulholland, who “broke down after he checked for a pulse and realized what happened.”
Weiss, 67, had been driving the motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force injuries to the head by Boyle County Coroner Donald Hamner.
The occupants of the Nissan were uninjured and Mulholland was treated and released from Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center.
Weiss’ wife was the passenger on the motorcycle, but her name was not released at the time. The lawsuit names her as Joan C. Weiss. She was transported to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, where she was initially listed in critical condition, but recovered from her injuries.
Kentucky State Police investigated the accident.