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SADOWSKI v. EAZOR EXPRESS (12/12/68)

decided: December 12, 1968.

SADOWSKI
v.
EAZOR EXPRESS, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1964, No. 990, in case of Catherine Sadowski, administratrix of estate of Robert Fowler, deceased, v. Eazor Express, Inc.

COUNSEL

Robert C. Little, with him Burns, Manley & Little, for appellant.

Theodore M. Tracy, with him Stokes, Lurie & Tracy, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Hannum, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J. Jacobs, J., dissents.

Author: Hoffman

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 472]

Robert Fowler was the owner of a Ford truck tractor which was purchased new at a cost of $8917.00. On March 29, 1963, it was totally demolished in an accident, leaving a salvage value of $350.00. The within action was brought by Robert Fowler against Eazor Express, Inc. claiming that the negligence of one of its

[ 213 Pa. Super. Page 473]

    drivers caused the damage.*fn1 The case was tried by a court sitting without a jury which found in favor of the plaintiff in the stipulated sum of $8131.00. After defendant's exceptions were dismissed, judgment was entered in that amount.

The facts may be set out briefly as follows:

On March 28, 1963, Ronald Fowler was driving the tractor-trailer unit owned by his father, Robert Fowler, in a southerly direction on Route No. 2 in West Virginia. The vehicle left the highway on the right side of the road and plunged to the bottom of a fifteen foot embankment.

The evidence reflects that the accident occurred at 4:00 a.m. The tractor was not discovered, however, until about 6:00 a.m. At about 6:20 a.m. State Police Officer F. W. Lanham arrived on the scene.

When officer Lanham first approached the truck, the dying driver said: "Get me out. Hurry up and get me out." Lanham stated that "He was mashed in there, his legs and feet and body and all. Just his head and arm was hanging out." Another witness described the situation in this fashion. "He was mashed up against the dash of the truck. The seat was shoved in on him and the bulkhead of the trailer. The steel went through and shoved the back of the seat up on him and he was lying up on the dash with his right arm . . . and . . . his chest hanging out through the windshield over the truck."

Officer Lanham stayed with the driver for approximately thirty minutes. Ronald Fowler died, ...


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