High-speed crash that killed teens last year spurs lawsuit

November 16, 2017

More than a year after a high-speed crash killed two teenage boys in Kootenai County, the family of one of the slain teens is suing the other alleging wrongful death.

The lawsuit, filed in Spokane County Superior Court on Nov. 9, claims 17-year-old Monte Thomson Jr., of Spokane Valley, was responsible for causing the death of his passenger, 17-year-old Leo C. Neal, of Post Falls, when his 2002 Jaguar convertible left the roadway on Hayden Avenue in Post Falls on May 23, 2016.

Thomson also was killed in the crash, which ended in the car stopping in a mangled heap near a mint hopper before ramming through a fence, rolling and smashing through a line of trees and hitting and rupturing a natural gas line.

The complaint, filed by the family of Neal, is seeking “an amount to be proven at trial,” including wrongful death damages, and “damages for the destruction of the parent/child relationship.”

Investigators at the time determined speed was a major factor in the crash. Alcohol was found in the vehicle, but toxicology results determined Thomson was sober, the Kootenai County Coroner’s Office ruled. Both teens died at the scene.

The family of Neal claims Thomson is at fault when he “failed to exercise due care while operating the Jaguar convertible and failed to operate at a safe speed.” As a result, the suit alleges, “the deceased defendant negligently lost control of the vehicle and caused a high-speed car crash.”

A representative of the Thomson family could not be reached Wednesday.

Attorneys Regina McCrea and Virginia Robinson for the Neal family were not immediately available for comment.