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Jury finds county negligent in 2008 390 crash
by Evan White
Rochester, N.Y. A jury has rendered a verdict Friday in the civil trial stemming from a 36 car pile-up on Interstate 390 in February 2008.
The crash occurred just north of the Scottsville Road exit near the end of a runway at the Rochester International Airport.
Authorities blamed "white out" conditions caused by snow blown across the roadway on an otherwise clear and sunny day.
The jury found both Monroe County and the Greater Rochester International Airport negligent, and that substantial negligence caused the accident.
Im very happy with the outcome, but it was a very long road, said Lyubov Klepanchuk, a one of the six plaintiffs who filed suit against the county and airport.
Obviously we are very disappointed with the jurys verdict, however we respect it, said John Callahan, of Bond Schoeneck and King, the law firm representing Monroe County and the airport.
Many injuries were reported along with one fatality. Le Ngo, 17, was killed in the crash.
In New York State Supreme Court a jury of eight began to hear testimony last week in a civil trial that accused Monroe County and the Greater Rochester International Airport of causing that white out condition.
The plaintiffs included six victims in the crash including the family and estate of Ngo.
Their lawsuit accused the county and airport of failing to notify and warn drivers of this potential condition and ignoring prior concerns or warnings about the condition. Construction underway at the airport during that time resulted in a landscape change and snow piled up in areas that would lend to this condition according to the Plaintiffs.
The construction resulted in the existing roadway, tunnel, and wall along the perimeter of the airport grounds that bored I-390 in that area.
Following the crash the county erected a temporary snow fence and the lawsuit suggests it should have been in place prior to then.