Both sides file civil suits after fire truck crash near Weston

Two civil lawsuits recently were filed in Wood County Common Pleas Court regarding a May 30 accident
involving a van and a Weston fire engine. Both suits allege negligence on the part of the opposite side.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Taylor Street and Ohio 235.
The first suit was filed by Weston Township and its Board of Trustees jointly with the Ohio Township
Association Risk Management Authority versus Cynthia L. Kern of West River Road, Bowling Green.
The suit, filed Oct. 13, seeks nearly $18,000 in damages to the fire engine due to the accident. The suit
alleges the damages were "caused by the negligence" of Kern.
Kern, along with her husband and passenger, David J. Kern, in a suit filed on Oct. 23 are seeking $10,000
in damages for the cost of medical expenses of injuries in the accident along with the cost of the van
which was totaled in the accident. That suit lists Randy E. Tolles along with Weston Township and its
Board of Trustees as defendant. Tolles is the chief of the Weston Fire Department and was driving the
fire engine at the time of the crash.
The Kern suit, filed by attorney Max E. Rayle, alleges Tolles "negligently operated his emergency
vehicle" by failure to properly yield to traffic on the state route.
According to the Bowling Green post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, the fire truck was in emergency response
heading east on Sand Ridge Road (which is Taylor Street in the village) and proceeded into the
intersection, where it was struck by a van. The van was northbound on the highway.
The patrol did not file charges against either driver.
Following the accident, Weston Village Council sought to have weeds cut back in the ditch near that
intersection to improve visibility.
Village Councilman Ron Trumbull during a subsequent meeting noted the fire truck collided with a green
van which he said might have "blended in with the trees, and they did not see it."
Rayle in a telephone conversation Wednesday indicated he believes the trees did block Tolles’ view
looking south toward the Kern vehicle.
He also indicated his clients did not see the truck nor its lights, nor hear any sirens. The suit
indicated despite being in an emergency situation, drivers of emergency equipment are required to follow
certain traffic rules and act with due diligence.
Cynthia Kern was driving a 1992 Toyota Previa. Both she and her husband were transported to Wood County
Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Tolles and two other firefighters in the fire truck were not injured.
The Kern’s suit has been assigned to Judge Alan Mayberry; the township’s suit is to be heard by Judge
Robert Pollex. Both suits ask for jury trials.