Government Fleet Top News

Family of Boy Killed by U.S. Government Vehicle May Sue

February 10, 2005

PITTSBURGH – The family of a Baden boy killed by a government-owned vehicle has been gathering evidence with the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the U.S. government, according to the Beaver County Times. James and Barbara Zankel, parents of Justin Zankel, the boy who was killed, obtained an emergency order to have the vehicle involved remain untouched until it can be inspected for evidence.

William Dreyer, a Marine recruiter, allegedly struck and killed Zankel as the boy walked into the path of the vehicle. Todd Berkey, one of several lawyers representing Zankel's parents, stated that evidence clearly shows that Dreyer was speeding in the 35-mph zone. Initially, information gathered showed that Dreyer was not speeding, but a second investigation showed that Dreyer most likely was speeding, according to Baden Police Chief Daniel Colaizzi.

Lawyers for the Zankels requested access to Dreyer's car, which had been stored at an auto body shop in Baden. Court documents stated that the repairs could wipe out any information contained in a computer chip in the vehicle that would reveal how fast Dreyer was driving just before the accident. Attorneys for the family were given 10 days to inspect the car, according to a restraining order issued by a U.S. district judge.

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