By Duane Bourne
Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia)
Copyright 2007 Virginian-Pilot
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. The estate of a 34-year-old man killed in 2005 when his car was hit by an ambulance has settled a lawsuit with the city for $825,000.
The wrongful death suit, which originally sought $10 million in damages, was settled in mediation last month after the criminal case against the ambulance driver, Jason Frye, concluded.
Kielland Brandon was killed when Frye ran a red light at South Plaza Trail and South Independence Boulevard.
Under an agreement reached in August, Frye pleaded guilty to reckless driving, and prosecutors dropped the original charge of involuntary manslaughter. He was given two years of probation and ordered not to drive an ambulance for two years.
On the evening of April 11, Frye was responding to an emergency call in a Plaza Rescue Squad ambulance when he drove into the intersection about 5 to 15 mph more than the speed limit of 35 mph, according to court documents.
The ambulance struck Brandon’s Mercedes-Benz coupe, sending the car into a utility pole. Brandon had been drinking before the crash, according to court documents, but his blood-alcohol concentration was 0.05, which is less than the legal limit for driving. He also was talking on his cell phone when the wreck occurred.