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Washington Personal Injury

Maxwell Graham, PS Files Suit Against Island County, WA Over Multiple Fatal Car Accidents

April 25, 2018 2018  By Maxwell Graham Law

[Camano Island, WA] April 23rd, 2018, Michael Maxwell of Maxwell Graham, PS, a Bellevue personal injury firm, filed a lawsuit against Island County, Washington in Snohomish County Superior Court, Complaint #18-2-03662-31 for damages resulting from catastrophic motor vehicle collisions on North Sunrise Boulevard on Camano Island. 

The lawsuit alleges that from 2005 through 2016, 19 incidents caused multiple life-altering, debilitating personal injuries and four fatalities. Trees close to the road on Sunrise Boulevard claimed the life of an unknown 40 year old man in 2005 and the life of 35 year old Trevor Cichy in 2006. In January, 2016 Richard Shallow’s vehicle struck ice and left the road, striking trees in the area.  He suffered a brain injury as a result of this crash.  In December 2016 Tanya Canell was driving her children to daycare when her vehicle hit a patch of ice, left the roadway, and struck a tree.  Canell’s vehicle caught fire, claiming the lives of her two daughters, three year old Haley and six month old Teagin.  Tanya Canell survived the crash suffering broken legs, feet, and burns on her body. 

The lawsuit alleges that unsuspecting drivers were unable to navigate an “S” curve portion of the roadway for numerous reasons listed in the complaint including icy and wet road surfaces and a lack of a guardrail to protect drivers from going off the road down a steep embankment. Trees too close to the road’s fog line caused injuries which the lawsuit alleges were foreseeable.

The lawsuit alleges that 35 year Cichy was killed when his vehicle struck a tree which was six and a half feet from the road. The “Trevor tree” had a cross nailed to it in memory of Mr. Cichy.  Ten years later, Maxwell’s client Richard Shallow struck a different tree near the Cichy tree.  As a result of this crash, Mr. Shallow suffered a severe brain injury. 

Less than a year later, 23 year old Tanya Canell’s van hit an icy patch of roadway on the S curve, struck a tree, and burst into flames.  Although Canell’s femurs were fractured, good Samaritans were able to rescue her.  Unfortunately, her two daughters perished in the fire.

Mike Maxwell says,

“The suit against Island County is about justice for our clients and Island County accepting accountability for its negligence.” 

Richard Shallow is also represented by co-counsel Gregory Marshall of Everett.  Phillip Gitchel and the Estates of Haley and Teagin Gitchel are represented by attorney Scott Blair of Brain Injury Law of Seattle.