Posted On: January 18, 2009 by Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney

PA Car Accident That Killed Senator James Rhoades Brings Wrongful Deah Suit

Motorist expects charges in state senator's death

The driver of a vehicle that killed state senator James Rhoades three months ago expects to face both criminal charges and a Pennsylvania wrongful death claim by the lawmaker’s widow and estate.

The senator represented a northeastern Pennsylvania district and was the longtime chairman of the Senate Education Committee. According to this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The senator and his wife, Mary, were headed to an event in the Poconos in October when the Cadillac he was driving collided with a pickup truck driven by Thomas Senavitis, 45. Rhoades died the following day.

An attorney for the late senator’s son-in-law informed Senavitis that a claim for personal injury and wrongful death is being made against him by Mary Edith Rhoades and the estate of James J. Rhoades.

Senavitis has denied responsibility for the crash.

State police have said Rhoades was traveling north on route 209 and that his car collided with Senavitis’ truck heading the other way. The fatal Pennsylvania car accident occurred on a bridge with narrow shoulders. Rhoades’ car also struck a minivan that had pulled onto the northbound shoulder.

Senavitis has citations for careless driving and failing to drive at safe speed.

State police have concluded their investigation, but would not release any details of the investigation, including whether alcohol was involved or whether either of the drivers left their lane.

Rhoades was also a former school principal and football coach who “helped craft every major education initiative in recent history,” including the Pennsylvania Safe Schools Act and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program.

When needless death occurs due to negligence of another party, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed. In these lawsuits, the decedent’s heirs sue the negligent party or parties for damages related to the loss of life and their own pain and suffering. It is recommended that families who think their family member’s death was wrongful first contact a wrongful death lawyer for a case assessment. If the case is valid, the attorney can help investigate the claim, gather evidence, represent them in court, and collect the compensation they deserve.

The attorneys at Cherry Fieger Marciano understand the devastating impact a Pennsylvania wrongful death can have on a family. They can help you find justice and compensation for your loved one’s death. Your case consultation with one of the Philadelphia, PA wrongful death attorneys is free of charge and completely confidential.