Man sues county over road quality 2 years after deadly crash

Man sues county over road quality 2 years after deadly crash

SWEET HOME, Ore. -- The two-year anniversary of a deadly motorcycle crash in Sweet Home was marked by one of the people involved suing Linn County for what he says is a poorly planned and maintained roadway.

On Sept. 24, 2011, Bobby Ray Hancock and Vicki Richards were in a motorcycle crash on Foster Dam Road. Richards died in the crash.

Hancock was convicted for driving under the influence and found not guilty of a second charge of manslaughter.

Two years after the crash Hancock is seeking up to $1,000,000 in damages from Linn County, alleging that Foster Dam Road was poorly planned and maintained. 

Hancock’s attorney Michael Arnold claims that bushes covering the curb and barriers give the false impression the road widens.

"The problems with the roadway was just utter neglect,” said Arnold. “What any prudent owner would have done is simply stripe the outside part of the roadway."

The Oregon Department of Transportation has records of two other accidents on the road over the last 5 years. People living in the neighborhood also say the road is safe. 

"I actually walk around the lake and go over the bridge a lot, almost everyday, and I don't feel like it's a hazard at all,” said Sweet Home resident Shelley Laughlin.

The family of Vicki Richards told our news team they don't blame the road or the county for the tragedy.

Linn County administrator Ralph Wyatt said the county would not comment on the suit at this time.