By Conrad Dudderar
Attorneys for a Yukon truck driver have denied he was negligent in a fatal crash northwest of Yukon.
Gregory A. Patty is defendant in a lawsuit filed in Oklahoma County District Court on behalf of plaintiff Tony Bertolozzi, administrator of Stacy Bertolozzi’s estate.
Co-defendants are Jackson Supply Co. of Oklahoma City and Trillium Driver Solutions.
An amended petition was filed Sept. 16th in the civil action, which stems from a deadly September 2021 auto collision at State Highway 3 (N.W. Expressway) and N Cemetery Road in Canadian County.
Lexington’s Stacy Renae Bertolozzi, 29, died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Patty was driving a 2021 Freightliner heavy box truck southbound on N Cemetery Road crossing over SH-3 when he collided with Bertolozzi’s 2015 Honda Civic, according to an Oklahoma City police affidavit.
Patty was working for Jackson Supply and Trillium as a commercial delivery driver when the crash occurred, court documents indicate. The large box truck he was driving reportedly had been leased from a third party.
In an answer to the suit filed Sept. 26, Patty’s attorneys claim the traffic collision was an “unavoidable accident, casualty and misfortune, which occurred without negligence” on his part.
“Decedent’s negligence may be comparatively greater than defendant’s alleged negligence; therefore, plaintiff is not entitled to recover any alleged damages,” according to the court-filed response.
“The accident was proximately caused by the negligence of a third party over whom defendant had no control and for those acts defendants is not responsible.”
The defendant’s attorneys argue that Patty was confronted with a “sudden emergency not brought about by his negligence” and in reacting to that emergency, he acted as a “reasonable and prudent person would have acted” under such circumstances.
Defendant Patty has generally denied all claims made by the plaintiff in the lawsuit, arguing the plaintiff’s prayer for punitive damages is unconstitutional and should be dismissed as a matter of law.
‘NEGLIGENT PER SE’
In the civil suit, the plaintiff alleges Patty was “negligent in the operation of his vehicle, failed to stop and/or yield the right of way to Stacy Bertolozzi thereby causing a fatal car crash which took the life of Ms. Bertolozzi.”
The defendant “failed to operate his motor vehicle in a reasonably prudent manner, failed to maintain a proper lookout, failed to pay full time and attention to his driving and failed to yield the right of way and as a result caused a collision resulting in the death of Stacy Bertolozzi,” the petition reads.
“(Patty) further failed to obey state and local traffic laws and was negligent per se.”
Co-defendants Jackson Supply and Trillium Driver Solutions are “liable for the grossly negligent acts of its employee, Gregory Patty under the theory of respondeat superior,” according to the plaintiff’s suit.
The plaintiff’s attorneys are Sherman A. Reed and Bryce Johnson.
Defendants Patty’s and Jackson Supply’s attorneys are Dan K. Jones and C.B. Moore. Defendant Trillium’s attorneys are Robert A. Bragalone and Robert B. Houston.
Patty was charged March 14 in Canadian County District Court with negligent homicide for failing to yield and causing the traffic collision.
The misdemeanor crime is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine.
The criminal case is pending. On Oct. 13, the defense filed an amended witness and exhibit list while prosecutors filed a request for discovery.