Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sellner Family Sues Lauderdale County

December 4, 2012

Today, December 4, 2012, Laura Ingram, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Cole Sellner, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Lauderdale County Commission and its Commissioners in their official capacities. The lawsuit was filed due to the death of Mrs. Ingram’s son, Cole Sellner, in a single-vehicle accident that occurred on May 30, 2012, on County Road 109, otherwise known as Paradise Drive, in Waterloo, Alabama.

Cole Sellner, age 21, was killed when a vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control, ran off a steep embankment on Paradise Drive and overturned. His death was preventable. Paradise Drive is in terrible condition. It is full of potholes, loose gravel on steep grades, and has no guardrails to prevent vehicles from running off the steep embankments.

For years, residents of Paradise Drive have complained about the dangerous conditions of Paradise Drive. One resident even tried to grade the road himself to make improvements and was told to cease and desist. Several Lauderdale County residents have attended Commission meetings and written letters to the Commissioners about the condition of the road, including the fact that it is poorly maintained, is full of loose gravel, has no guardrails, and has no warning signs of dangerous conditions. The residents feared that someone would be killed. Tragically, one of those letters was sent to the Commission only three months before Cole Sellner’s death.

Commissioner Faye Parker and former Commissioner Rhea Fulmer tried to convince the County Commission to fix the road, but were unsuccessful. Mrs. Ingram hopes this lawsuit will serve as the final catalyst in making this road safe, not only for those residents who live there, but for all travelers. Paradise Drive is a public road, and as such, the Lauderdale County commission has a public duty to make it reasonably safe.

Mrs. Ingram and her family pray that the County Commission will finally take the proper steps in making Paradise Drive safe by paving or grading the road, installing guardrails, and posting signs to warn travelers of the dangerous steep hills and sharp turns. The Lauderdale County Commission should have taken these steps before a young life was lost due to their indifference and lack of concern for the citizens of Lauderdale County and travelers of Paradise Drive.

For more information, you may contact:

Willson Jenkins, Esq.
R. Willson Jenkins, PC
P.O. Box 1061
Florence, AL 35630


This is an extremely sad case. Is Lauderdale County totally at fault? We appreciate any comments.


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