Man who was injured while trying to help stuck vehicle sues

By Janice Gregorson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

An Eyota man who was critically injured when he was hit by a car while trying to help another motorist during a snowstorm has filed a lawsuit in Olmsted District Court.

Thomas Edward Welsh, 40, said he has incurred medical bills in excess of $384,491 so far and wage losses in excess of $41,694 as a result of the crash, which happened near Rochester International Airport on the morning of Nov. 10, 2006.

News reports at the time said Welsh was trying to flag down traffic on U.S. 63 for a semi truck that had made a U-turn and was stuck. Welsh was hit by a northbound car driven by Tory Keefe of Stewartville.


Welsh suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken bones and lacerations, the civil complaint says.

Rochester attorney Charles Suk represents Welsh. The lawsuit was dated March 6 and filed April 3 in Olmsted District Court. No response has been filed by the defendants.

Named as defendants are Tory Patrick Keefe, Alan Dale Denny and R&K Express Inc.

Denny, of Rochester, was driving the semi and pulling a trailer owned by R&K Express.

The complaint said that Welsh was driving south on U.S. 63 near 80th Street. He was in the left lane to turn onto 80th Street. At the same time, Denny, driving the semi, "carelessly, negligently and unlawfully" tried to make a U-turn from southbound U.S. 63 to northbound U.S. 63, the lawsuit says. The semi got stuck in the snow.

Welsh came on the trailer, which was blocking the left lane onto 80th Street. The complaint said Welsh got out of his car to try to help Denny complete the U-turn.

Keefe was driving north on U.S. 63 and came upon the traffic backed up as a result of the situation. The complaint said Keefe failed to reduce his speed and hit Welsh. R&K Express is vicariously liable for the negligence of Denny’s operation of the vehicle, the complaint says.

Welsh seeks damages in excess of $50,000. He also seeks payment for past and future medical expenses and lost wages.

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