Fayetteville attorney: Fatal Lincoln County crash to likely result in civil case

Fayetteville attorney: Fatal Lincoln County crash to likely result in civil case
Source: WAFF (Source: Credit: WAFF)

FAYETTEVILLE, Tn. (WAFF) - Charges are pending in a fatal Lincoln County crash, but Fayetteville attorney Ray Fraley said a lawsuit may be the most likely path forward.

Lincoln County District Attorney Robert Carter is in the process on determining what, if any, charges to file in the crash that killed Fayetteville High School Senior Tate Tuten.

Tuten died after a hay bale fell off an oncoming truck, hitting his car.

Ray Fraley said if the other driver’s preparation of the hay bale was criminally negligent, the prosecution would have to prove two big things.

Intent and knowing.

“I don’t think they’ll be able to prove a kind of intent, that would be, phew. I can’t imagine,” he said.

The Tennessee State Troopers crash report states the two cars passed at curve. Fraley said the unforeseeable timing of the vehicles would likely cripple any intent argument, but knowing is a different matter.

“It’s a foreseeable that if you don’t secure the load, the hay in this case, a tragedy could occur, and it did,” he said.

As a result, he said justice or compensation will more likely come in a lawsuit.

“All you have to prove is more likely than not. It’s call preponderance of evidence, and it just means you’re tipping the scale 51 percent,” he said.

Any legal action is yet to be seen.

But for now, Fraley said it’s a sad day for all parties involved.

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