By Conrad Dudderar
OKLAHOMA CITY – A trial date has been set in a civil action alleging negligence by a Yukon truck driver in a deadly September 2021 traffic collision near Piedmont.
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.
Yukon’s Patty was driving a 2021 Freightliner heavy box truck southbound on N Cemetery Road crossing over SH-3 when he collided with Stacy Bertolozzi’s 2015 Honda Civic, according to an Oklahoma City police affidavit.
Lexington’s Bertolozzi, 29, died from injuries sustained in the crash.
The jury trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 4 before Oklahoma County Judge Anthony L. Bonner.
Judge Bonner and attorneys for all parties on Jan. 19 signing a scheduling order setting the December trial, estimated to take three to four days.
A pretrial conference is set Aug. 16.
Attorney Dan K. Jones, representing defendants Patty and Jackson Supply, demanded the jury trial in a Jan. 10th court filing.
Patty was working for Jackson Supply and Trillium as a commercial delivery driver when the crash occurred, court documents indicate. The truck he was driving reportedly had been leased from a third party.
In an answer to the civil suit, attorney Jones claims the traffic collision was an “unavoidable accident, casualty and misfortune, which occurred without negligence” on Patty’s part.
The defendant contends Tony Bertolozzi – who was Stacy’s husband – is not entitled to any alleged damages, arguing:
“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.”
‘FAILED TO OBEY’ TRAFFIC LAWS
The lawsuit was filed last year in Oklahoma County by attorney Sherman A. Reed, on behalf of Tony Bertolozzi.
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 civil suit.
HOMICIDE CASE PENDING
Meanwhile, a negligence homicide charge against Patty is pending in Canadian County District Court.
Prosecutors filed the criminal case in March 2022 alleging Patty caused Stacy Bertolozzi’s death by driving the Freightliner heavy box truck “in reckless disregard of the safety of others” by failing to yield and colliding with the Honda Civic.
Patty was driving the commercial truck southbound on N Cemetery Road crossing over SH-3, traveling across four lanes of through traffic and turn lanes for SH-3 eastbound and westbound traffic.
Oklahoma City Police investigated the fatal wreck.
The misdemeanor crime is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine.
A status conference is set Feb. 21 before Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse. A jury trial set Jan. 10 was stricken from the docket.
Attorney J. Brent Gaylon represents Patty in the criminal proceedings.