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Man convicted of killing pedestrian faces trial in victim's parents' civil suit

November 18th, 2011 12:21 pm by Becky Campbell

Man convicted of killing pedestrian faces trial in victim's parents' civil suit

The parents of a Johnson City man killed four years ago by a drunken driver while crossing a downtown street are in a civil trial with the offender this week.
Dr. Larry and Sandy Hudson filed a $3 million lawsuit in January 2008, about a month after David Wilcox hit and killed their 27-year-old son, David W. Hudson, on Dec. 13, 2007.
Wilcox, now 61, was convicted in December of vehicular homicide by reckless conduct.
Wilcox was intoxicated at the time of the crash on Dec. 13, 2007, and had a 0.15 blood alcohol content when tested later that night.
Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp sentenced Wilcox to five years in prison earlier this year.
Testimony in the civil trial, being heard by a jury and presided over by Circuit Court Judge Thomas Seeley, began Wednesday and continued Thursday.
The fatality occurred around 11 p.m. as Hudson was crossing State of Franklin from a parking area and heading toward the Second Level Club.
He had gone there with a friend and returned to his car for something before crossing the road again.
Police investigators said they believe Wilcox was not using his headlights, which prevented Hudson from effectively seeing the oncoming vehicle.
Hudson was hit at an angle from behind, with the initial impact on the back of his right knee.
Johnson City Police Lt. Larry Williams testified that in his opinion, Wilcox did not apply his brakes before hitting Hudson because if he had, the impact area would have been lower on Hudson’s leg.
The impact tossed Hudson onto Wilcox’s windshield and over the car before he hit the pavement.
The Hudson’ lawsuit said Wilcox’s negligence has prevented them from companionship with their child and caused him pain and suffering between the time he was hit and the time he died.
The couple has asked for $2 million in punitive damages and $1 million in compensatory damages.
An a written response to the suit, Wilcox admitted the suit arose from a pedestrian and vehicle crash, but claimed Hudson “walked out in front of him,” and any negligence was on Hudson.
Wilcox is serving his sentence at the Washington County Detention Center. He was denied being recommended for parole by a hearing officer representing the Board of Probation and Parole.

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