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Hernando hit-and-run victim sues estate of teen driver who killed himself after crash

Alicia Anderson, 22, and son Angel, 2, are living with family northwest of Brooksville.

Family photo

Alicia Anderson, 22, and son Angel, 2, are living with family northwest of Brooksville.

BROOKSVILLE — After almost five months, Alicia Anderson still hobbles around on crutches and suffers from head trauma. She faithfully goes to therapy, her father said. But returning to her home and life in Massachusetts is no longer an option.

Recovery from the hit-and-run accident in February has been frustrating and slow for the 22-year-old.

And expensive.

"I just want her to recover 100 percent," her father, Marc Anderson, said Friday. "But I don't think it's going to happen."

In an effort to pay some of the mounting medical bills, Anderson has filed a lawsuit against the family of the teenager who killed himself after striking her with his car.

The suit seeks unspecified damages in excess of $15,000 from Andrew Altringer's estate for negligently operating the car; from his mother, Ann Wagner, the car's owner, and from the Chevron gas station that illegally sold alcohol to Altringer.

Representatives from Afreen Inc., the company that manages the Spring Hill convenience store, and the Chevron Corp., could not be reached for comment Friday.

The lawsuit states the two corporations should have known the alcohol "would cause (Altringer) to become intoxicated and impaired to the extent that he could not safely operate a motor vehicle."

Wagner, said she could not go into details about the lawsuit. But Wagner said she was eager to move past this tragic chapter of her life.

"I've already suffered the worst thing that anyone can suffer," Wagner said Friday. "Nothing compares to the life of my son. They're just doing what they have to do, I guess."

Jay Kamal, manager of the convenience store on U.S. 19, said Friday that he knew nothing about the lawsuit.

"I don't know anything about this," Kamal said. "We check ID, so we don't have that kind of problem."

Authorities never charged anyone at the station with selling alcohol to a minor. It was unclear Friday how that decision was reached.

Alicia Anderson and her 2-year-old son are living in her father's home northwest of Brooksville, a short distance from where she was sent sprawling in the hit-and-run accident Feb. 5. She had been visiting her father.

According to incident reports, Altringer, 18, and an 18-year-old friend, Greg Knapp, bought an 18-pack of Bud Light at the Chevron station sometime after 8 p.m. Neither of the teens was asked to show identification by the clerk, who was described as a balding male in his late 30s or early 40s with a dark complexion, the reports state.

Knapp, 18, said he made the purchase with a debit card. He told deputies that a younger female store employee then came to the counter, where she got the beer from Altringer — who was wearing a Central High jacket — and carried it to his car.

At a friend's house that night, according to reports, Altringer had six beers, and another friend, Kyle Case, had four before leaving in Altringer's 2008 Mazda. Altringer later struck Anderson as she walked along the side of a dirt road, according to the reports. Case told authorities he saw Anderson lying in a ditch and they fled, believing they had killed her.

About 10 p.m., Altringer dropped off Case at his home a few blocks away. Minutes later, Case said he called Altringer on his cell phone and told him to stop driving and go home. Case promised not to tell anyone.

Altringer never found out that Anderson suffered serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. She was released from the hospital the next evening.

Instead, he drove home, wrote a suicide note and drove north on U.S. 19. About an hour later, Altringer fatally shot himself with an SKS rifle during a traffic stop in Levy County.

Marc Anderson said he sympathized with Wagner's loss but that his daughter, who doesn't have medical insurance, was probably going to need medical care for a long time.

"I'm very sorry for the loss of her child," Anderson said. "But my daughter is alive, and we've got to get her medical bills paid."

Hernando hit-and-run victim sues estate of teen driver who killed himself after crash 06/26/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 26, 2009 10:49pm]
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