Family of bicyclist killed on Interstate 70 files wrongful death lawsuit

Friday, May 16, 2014 | 8:24 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The family of the bicyclist who died after being struck by a truck on Interstate 70 has filed suit against the truck's driver and his employer.

Ennis Marquis Patrick, 36, was killed Oct. 26, 2013, while riding his bike along the shoulder of Interstate 70, near the 130 mile marker, when he was struck by the driver of a semitrailer.

According to the suit, David Thompson, a commercial driver for YRC, Inc., struck Patrick after Thompson drifted onto the road's shoulder. The suit states that Thompson's fatigued condition was responsible for his exiting the right lane of the highway and for his inability to quickly stop or give any signal to Patrick.

Police originally responded to reports of a dead deer obstructing the roadway on Oct. 26. The officer dispatched to the scene confirmed that this report was consistent with what he saw, as did another officer driving through the area, according to a Columbia police investigation. The material was deemed to not be a traffic hazard, and no further action was taken.

Later in the day, police were again dispatched to the scene of the collision after receiving several reports of blood and clothing strewn along part of the highway. Police discovered that these were the remains of a man who'd been struck on the highway.

A report released that day by the Columbia Police Department stated that the collision occurred when a cyclist had drifted from the shoulder into interstate traffic. Another report issued the following Wednesday identified the victim as Patrick.

An investigation into the incident concluded that there was no probable cause that the driver of the truck had committed a crime, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Patrick's daughter filed a lawsuit Thursday through her mother, Latoshia Hayes, that challenges the results of the investigation. The lawsuit states that Thompson and his employer were responsible for the wrongful death of her father and for causing pain, suffering and emotional distress for Patrick's daughter.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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