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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday ó February 25, 2004


Lawsuit filed against bar, estate of driver

Express Staff Writer

A deadly October car accident south of Hailey has led to a lawsuit that seeks damages and medical expenses from the estate of a deceased intoxicated driver and the bar that served him.

Two Duvall, Wash., men who were injured in the accident have sued the estate of the driver who hit them and the Silver Dollar Bar, the Bellevue establishment that allegedly served him alcohol.

Klint Kendall, 19, and Clint Russell, 21, filed the case in U.S. District Court in Boise on Friday, Feb. 6.

Wayne M. Rahn, 24, and his passenger, Gumecindo Ray Egoavil, 43, both of Hailey, died Oct. 18 when their car drifted over the center line on Highway 75 just south of Friedman Memorial Airport and collided with a pickup carrying Kendall and Russell.

A third passenger in the pickup, Danny Russell, 18, of Duvall, also was injured in the crash, and one of four horses in a trailer being towed by the pickup died.

Rahnís estate and the Silver Dollar Bar in Bellevue were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

"At the time that the alcoholic beverages were sold to Mr. Rahn, a reasonably prudent bartender or other agent of the Silver Dollar Bar knew or should have known that Mr. Rahn was intoxicated and unable to safely operate a vehicle," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit says the plaintiffs suffered permanent and severe injuries and seeks damages of more than $75,000.

The Silver Dollarís owner, Sean Mahoney, declined to comment extensively about the case. He said only that the barís insurance company was conducting an investigation into the lawsuit.

Clint Russell, the pickup's driver, suffered two broken leg bones, a broken pelvis and spinal injuries. He was trapped in the truck for an hour before rescuers were able to free him. The other men in the truck suffered lesser injuries.

During a press briefing in October, Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling estimated that Rahn was traveling more than 80 mph when the accident occurred on a highway posted at 55 mph.

"They were traveling at a high rate of speed," Femling said. "They were traveling northbound and crossed the center line into the southbound lane, hitting the (pickup) head-on."

Kendall was first taken to St. Lukeís Wood River Medical Center and later flown via Lifeflight to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Clint Russell was flown directly from the scene to St. Alphonsus after emergency crews worked for nearly an hour to extricate him.

Danny Russell was taken to St. Lukeís where he was treated and released, Femling said.

The truck driven by the Washington men rolled on to its side from the impact of the collision, and the horse trailer in tow separated from the truck.

"The highway was closed for a few hours," Femling said. "There was a dead animal. It was a mess." The other three horses were injured in the accident.

A third car, a Chevrolet Malibu driven by Benito Chavez Hurtado, 21, was also involved in the accident after it ran into the horse trailer. Hurtado was unhurt, Femling said.


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