The driver of a vehicle which struck and killed a Shelby County firefighter two years ago on Interstate 80 is now suing the City of Shelby. The Omaha World Herald reports David L. Thies, of Boone, is suing the city for $5,000, a fraction of what the accident cost him. Thies was involved in the accident on I-80 two years ago when he struck Shelby firefighter Michael Collins who was killed while directing traffic after another accident had taken place on the interstate.
Thies claims Collins was under the influence of drugs at the time and stepped into traffic. The papers says documents inside the Iowa State Patrol’s full investigation report say Collins had THC in his system, which is the active ingredient in marijuana and a narcotic pain reliever called oxymorphone. A hearing on his claim is set to take place Oct. 21st, in Pottawattamie County Small Claims Court.
The accident that took the life of Collins happened around 6:50-pm on September 18th, 2011 as Collins was directing traffic. The patrol says Thies was traveling on the Interstate and went around the stopped vehicles and hit Collins in the left lane. No criminal charges were ever filed against Thies, as the investigators did not find his actions reckless. He was however charged with driving without proper registration.
The accident report from the Iowa State Patrol says Collins received oxymorphone from someone who had a prescription. Thies stated his expenses from the accident including medical bills are over $30,000. The City of Shelby declined to comment to the paper on the lawsuit. This was the second accident fatal accident Thies was involved in. Back in 1988, Thies was driving a motorcycle in Nebraska when it crashed and killed the passenger 20 year old Gina Pearson. He was charged with vehicular homicide and served a 17 month jail sentence.