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Family of Woolwich man killed in crash sues driver, owner of rental truck for wrongful death

Barry Wyman's family says Penske Truck Leasing should have known of William Young's 'dangerous' driving record

BATH, Maine — The family of a Woolwich man killed after his Subaru was hit by a rental truck on Route 1 two years ago is suing the driver of the truck and the owner for negligence, wrongful death, and conscious pain and suffering.

Barry Wyman, 58, died July 31, 2019 of injuries suffered in the July 15, 2019 crash near the Taste of Maine restaurant.

Wyman's vehicle was hit by a rental truck driven by William Young of Topsham, and owned by Penske Truck Leasing Co.

Young was subsequently indicted by a Sagadahoc County grand jury on counts of manslaughter, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, driving to endanger, and criminal speeding.

Young was headed north on Route 1 in a box truck early the morning of July 15, 2019, when the truck crossed the center line and hit three cars, officials said at the time.

Wyman was taken to Maine Medical Center with what sheriff's deputies said were "critical injuries." Three other people were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.

Wyman died July 31, 2019.

On Friday, attorney Jim O'Connell submitted paperwork to file a civil lawsuit in Sagadahoc County Superior Court on behalf of Wyman's family.

The suit seeks unspecified damages from Young and from Penske.

O'Connell argues in the complaint that Young was a "dangerous driver" and that Penske failed to check his driving or criminal records and failed to ask him about both.

According to the complaint, Young's driving record at the time of the crash included a 2017 crash in which his car crossed the center line in Topsham and crashed into a light pole near a pedestrian and a 2019 conviction for failure to stop for a police officer and driving to endanger.

In the first crash, Young pleaded guilty to reckless conduct, and following the second conviction his license was suspended for two months -- just three months before the crash that killed Wyman.

"After the crash, Young was taken away by ambulance before the police could speak to him," O'Connell wrote. "The police found Young later that day at the Penske rental facility in Topsham in the process of renting another Penske truck."

O'Connell said Monday that while some rental companies conduct background checks before renting a truck to someone, "We have to assume [Penske] did not. We can only assume that if they knew what his record was, they would not have given him a truck. That is something we're going to figure out."

Young is scheduled to appear in Sagadahoc County Superior Court later this month on the criminal charges.

His attorney in the criminal case, Roger Brunelle, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.