The parents of a University of Missouri student have filed a wrongful death suit against the driver of the motorcycle she was riding when it crashed, killing her. Caitlin Valora was riding as a passenger on Aaron Hansberry’s motorcyle early in the morning of August 9, 2010. As a result of the accident, Hansberry has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Hansberry apparently drove through a red light around dawn that morning, only to drive into the curb at the T-intersection of the road on which they were traveling. Hansberry was apparently moving at a very high rate of speed at the time. Further compounding the speed issue as Valora went flying off the bike was the fact that she appeared not to be wearing a helmet. Valora flew over 65 feet from the site of the impact; she received very serious injuries as a result of her fall from the vehicle, and later died as a result.
Hansberry’s accident occurred sometime between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., but he apparently did not report it until 11 a.m. It is believed that his blood alcohol level was well above the legal limit at the time of the accident, which probably contributed to his apparently reckless and dangerous behavior.
Valora’s parents have filed a suit that states Hansberry violated numerous traffic laws, including driving at a high rate of speed, failing to stop or slow down at a light and driving while intoxicated, the combination of which caused Valora to suffer greatly from multiple injuries before she died.
Interestingly, the lawsuit also names Hansberry’s father, Roger Hansberry. This portion of the suit states that Roger should have known that the younger Hansberry was too inexperienced and reckless to be operating a motorcycle, particularly with a passenger. Hansberry was 21 at the time of the accident.
The news reports do not mention any particular judgement that was sought, nor the monetary value of said judgments. A court date has apparently not been scheduled, either, indicating that these proceedings may, as is usually the case in a wrongful death matter, take a bit of time to properly develop.