Legal battles continue after death of witness in hit-and-run

Legal battles continue after death of witness in hit-and-run accident

Chasity Thornell (Source: Thornell Family) Chasity Thornell (Source: Thornell Family)
Nelzon Soto (Source: Soto Family) Nelzon Soto (Source: Soto Family)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - After the death of the only witness in a hit-and-run that killed three people, including a pregnant woman and her child, an attorney said the legal battles will go on in her absence.

Sarah Tinder was a witness to the hit and run crash that killed Chasity Thornell and Nelzon Soto.

She was a plaintiff in a $1 million lawsuit against Curtis Harper, the suspect in the crash.

The suit claimed Tinder suffered from mental and psychological injuries.

Tinder was also a defendant in a lawsuit by Thornell's mother, Stephanie Thornell, claiming she was negligent for running out of gas and leaving the car in a roadway.

Attorney Gary Dawson said even though Tinder passed away, the lawsuits will go forward.

"There is a substitution of a party who stands in the place of Sarah she was both a plaintiff and a defendant in this case, so there will be a personal representative appointed to stand in her shoes for her position in the lawsuit," said Dawson.

Dawson said it's upsetting that Tinder will never be able to give her testimony of her version of what happened during the incident in court.

Tinder's cause of death has not been released.

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