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Fatal wreck leads to $5M lawsuit
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Meth could cost one intoxicated driver a hit of $5 million.

Asia Jeanene Smartt, 28, who recently pleaded guilty to charges of vehicle homicide and vehicular assault and sentenced to 1.5 years in jail, has been served with a lawsuit by her surviving victim.

“My client is Mrs. Deanna Winburn,” said local attorney Michael Galligan. “Her husband Johnny was killed, unfortunately, in this wreck. It’s really just tragic. The couple had a loving relationship. I’ve seen all the pictures. I needed to do that so I could understand her pain in this case. In this relation, they laughed and loved, had children and grandchildren. It’s all gone. It was absolutely unnecessary.”

Smartt was ordered to serve 364 days of a 10-year sentence for vehicular homicide. Additionally, she was given 180 days of a four-year sentence for vehicular assault. She also had her driver license revoked for eight years and was given 100 hours public service work.

The charges and subsequent lawsuit stemmed from a wreck on Dec. 21 between Angel’s Bridge and McMinnville Funeral Home. Smartt’s vehicle was heading inbound, traveling toward Walmart. Witnesses say her Nissan Pathfinder suddenly veered across the highway, jumped the median, and collided with the couple’s vehicle, a Chevy Cruze.

Mr. Winburn, 75, was pronounced dead at the scene. Mrs. Winburn suffered acute fractures of two ribs and lacerations to her left upper extremity, right hip, right hip buttock area, left knee, left ankle and left knee.

According to District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis, a blood test showed Smartt had meth in her system.

The lawsuit states, among other allegations, that Smartt demonstrated the following acts of negligence and recklessness:

• Failed to use due care
• Failed to drive at a safe and prudent speed for the conditions of the road
• Failed to stay alert
• Failed to pay proper attention to the road conditions and other traffic on the road
• Turned into the oncoming lane of traffic when she saw, or should have seen, in the exercise of reasonable care, it was not safe to do so
• Failed to properly yield the right of way
• Failed to stay in her proper lane of travel

• Drove under the influence of drugs

The widow is requesting a jury award her $2.5 million in compensatory damages, $2.5 million in compensatory damages for the death of Mr. Winburn, and $1,000 in punitive damages.

A date for the case to be heard has not be set.