A Louisville family has filed a civil suit against the 45-year old driver of a vehicle that was involved in a serious accident with the family last month. The accident occurred on December 17th as Rick and Julie Ryan were driving with their 8-year old daughter Hayley Ryan to visit relatives in Alabama. According to police reports, the family was traveling on US-31 in Cullman County, Alabama, when their van was struck by a vehicle driven by 45-year old Kenneth Burns.
Following the accident, Rick Ryan was hospitalized with a coma, while Julie Fore Ryan suffered head and neck injuries. Hayley Ryan did not survive the accident. Kenneth Burns was charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), vehicular homicide, manslaughter, and four counts of assault in the first degree. According to sources familiar with the case, Burns has been charged with DUI on at least two prior occasions.
The civil suit was filed by the Ryan family’s attorney, William P. Traylor III of Yearout & Traylor, P.C. In an interview with Fox News 41, Mr. Traylor discussed the defendant’s prior DUI arrests and mentioned that the civil suit would allow for a closer examination of Mr. Burn’s criminal history, which could help identify past legal infractions. The lawsuit seeks damages against Burns for medical expenses, mental and emotional distress, as well as additional punitive damages.
The family hopes that the accident will help raise awareness in the community about the dangers of drunk driving. They have set up a Facebook memorial page for Hayley and have established a fund to help pay for funeral expenses.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Hayley Ryan, and we wish her parents a speedy recovery from their injuries.