Family files wrongful death suit

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Both drivers in Pine Valley crash named as defendants in case

By Bob White



ELIZABETHTOWN — The family of a fatal November DUI-related crash victim is suing the driver of the car she was in and the driver of an ambulance which struck it.

The complaint filed in Hardin Circuit Court claims both drivers were “negligent” and “caused the wrongful death” of 27-year-old Katrina Polston on Nov. 24.

Polston was a backseat passenger in a Pontiac Grand Prix driven by 28-year-old Anthony Benningfield and also occupied by Benningfield’s wife, Brandie, 25. The three had left a nightclub on Pine Valley Drive shortly before 11 p.m.

According to police, Benningfield failed to stop at a red light at the intersection of Pine Valley Drive and U.S. 31W and entered the path of a Hardin County ambulance driven by Jason Thompson and occupied by paramedic Carl D. Akin and their patient, Roy W. Frazier, 69. The ambulance and its occupants were traveling from an auto crash in Radcliff to Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown.

The suit was filed May 9 on behalf of Jerry Polston, administrator for Katrina Polston’s estate, and Troy Rennirt, father to Katrina Polston’s infant daughter, Trinity. It names both drivers, Benningfield’s insurance company and Hardin County EMS as defendants and seeks an undisclosed sum of money.

Polston’s attorney, Jeremy Winton of Louisville-based personal injury firm Winters, Yonkers and Rouselle, said he could not comment on allegations that the ambulance driver was negligent in driving along U.S. 31W the night of the wreck.

A police report said the ambulance had the right of way and a green light when it came upon the Pine Valley Drive intersection.

Along with Polston’s death, both members of the ambulance crew were injured and their patient, also suffered minor injuries during the collision.

Being on the side of the car that collided with the ambulance, Brandie Benningfield sustained life-threatening injuries. She is left with permanent damage from the wreck.

After being arraigned in Hardin District Court on reckless homicide and other charges relating to the crash, Anthony Benningfield had a probated sentence from a 2004 methamphetamine conviction revoked because of his consumption of alcohol the night of the wreck. He is serving a seven-year sentence on the 2004 drug conviction.

He later was indicted on one charge of murder for Polston’s death. He also was indicted on assault, DUI and wanton endangerment charges. His trial is scheduled in October on those charges.

No hearing dates have been scheduled in the civil case.

Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.