County seeks consolidation of lawsuits over deadly Ohio crash


First Posted: 4/4/2015

WARREN (AP) — A northeast Ohio court is being asked to consolidate three lawsuits filed by the relatives or estates of five boys killed in a 2013 crash and one young man who survived it.

Investigators determined a sport utility vehicle sped down a two-lane road at nearly twice the 35-mph speed limit and flipped into a pond in Warren on March 10, 2013. The 19-year-old driver and five of the seven boys riding with her died.

Relatives of the teenagers who died and one of the survivors have sued the city and Trumbull County for damages, alleging they didn’t properly maintain the road and guardrail.

The city and county have denied allegations of negligence or improper maintenance, pointed to the driver’s alleged recklessness and asked that the matter be dismissed.

In a filing this week, the county asked that the cases be consolidated because they relate to the same crash. That request is pending.

The first lawsuit filed covers the deaths of four boys, 14-year-old Andrique Bennett and 15-year-olds Kirklan Behner, Daylan Ray and Ramone White. Separate lawsuits were filed by the estate of 14-year-old Brandon Murray and by survivor Brian Henry II, who was 18 when the crash occurred.

Henry’s complaint said he survived by using his elbow to break the rear windshield of the submerged SUV so he could swim to safety.

Investigators found no evidence that anyone interfered with driver Alexis Cayson’s driving in a way that would have caused her to lose control. She didn’t have a valid license.

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