Friend of hit-and-run victim seeks $1M in lawsuit

Friend of hit-and-run victim seeks $1M in lawsuit against suspect


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville woman who saw her pregnant friend and a man who had come to her aid die in a hit-and-run crash last May has filed a lawsuit against the accused driver and his parents.

Sarah Tinder is asking for a million-dollar judgment in the suit filed last month in Knox County Circuit Court. The suit lists the defendants as Curtis Scott Harper, the suspect in the deadly crash, and his two parents, Herbert and Pam Harper.

Tinder was with Chasity Elaine Thornell, 24, early in the morning of May 30 when their car ran out of gas.

As Tinder stood nearby, a 2004 Ford Explorer ran into Thornell and Nelzon Soto, 45.

The Explorer failed to stop after hitting Thornell and Soto. They died at the scene.

Thornell was seven months pregnant at the time of the crash.

Harper, 22, was later arrested on multiple charges, including vehicular homicide, DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

Tinder and her lawyer, Tony Farmer, claim she suffered "severe mental and psychological injuries" caused by what she saw.

The vehicle Harper was allegedly driving that night was owned by his parents.

Soto's widow filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit last week.


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