Suit: MTV's 'Rock of Love Bus' driver asleep at the wheel

Kelly Holleran Dec. 30, 2008, 9:00am

Maria from Rock of Love Bus

A Tallahassee, Fla. couple has filed suit against MTV, VH-1 Music First, two entertainment companies and an employee of the companies, alleging the employee fell asleep while driving a "Rock of Love Bus" full of equipment.

William Wiley was driving his 2008 GMC Sierra north on I-57 near West Frankfurt on Sept. 26 with his wife, Colleen, as a passenger when an accident occurred, according to the complaint filed Dec. 23 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

MTV employee Dennis Hernandez was driving south on I-57 while hauling equipment for a television series, the suit states.

The couple claims Hernandez fell asleep, then lost control of the car and crossed the median into the northbound lanes striking their vehicle.

"After a lengthy extrication with the 'jaws of life,' Plaintiffs were airlifted to an emergency medical facility," the suit states.

Hernandez either had no valid license or had a suspended license at the time of the accident, according to the complaint.

Because of the collision, Colleen suffered multiple severe injuries, including loss of consciousness, hypotension and cardiac arrest six times with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and subsequent intubation, the Wileys claim.

She also suffered injuries to her shoulders, back, neck, chest, pelvis, legs, knees and hands, according to the complaint.

William also suffered multiple severe injuries including sternal fracture with associated anterior mediastinal hematoma, minimally displaced seventh rib fracture, lung contusion, contusions over the right frontoparietal region of his head, avulsion fracture of the left triquetrum and nondisplace, intraarticular fracture of left radial syloid, the suit states.

William and Colleen suffered great physical pain, mental anguish, pain and anguish of their bodies and minds, lost sleep, their bodies have been greatly impaired and diminished and all of their injuries are permanent, disabling and progressive, the suit states.

Colleen sustained severe psychological trauma and emotional distress and has incurred medical bills of more than $1 million, she claims.

William lost wages, earnings, salaries and profits and incurred medical bills in excess of $50,000, according to the complaint.

Both of them have been deprived of the care, comfort, protection, society, support, services and consortium of the other, the suit states.

"Due to the nature of the injuries sustained by William Wiley/Colleen Wiley and the severe physical and psychological strains they cause him/her, William Wiley/Colleen Wiley is no longer able to provide Plaintiff assistance in maintaining the home, providing love and affection, guidance, fellowship, protection, companionship, affection, society, sexual relations, moral support and solace, among other things," the suit states.

Hernandez was negligent by operating a vehicle in a negligent manner, by failing to provide the right-of-way for the Wileys' vehicle, by failing to keep a proper lookout, by colliding with the Wileys' vehicle, by failing to apply the brakes before hitting the Wileys, by failing to maintain control of the vehicle, by driving too fast, by driving in the wrong lane, by driving the wrong way on a divided highway, by failing to recognize there was a likelihood of collision in time to stop and by driving at a speed that made it impossible for him to stop within his range of visibility, according to the complaint.

He also negligently failed to yield the right of way to traffic traveling in the opposite direction, drove in the improper lane, drove without a valid or with a suspended license and drove in an ill or impaired state, the suit states.

The four companies breached their duty of reasonable care to the Wileys in hiring, training, supervising and retaining Hernandez, the couple claims.

"Had Defendants MTV, VH-1, 51 Minds and Endemol used the care and skill exercised by reasonable companies under the same or similar circumstances, Hernandez would not have been hired, or would have been better trained, or would have been better supervised and/or would not have been retained, any of such actions would have prevented the subject collision," the suit states.

In addition to injury damages, the couple seeks property damages of $7,157.84.

They are represented by Kevin L. Fritz of Lashly and Baer in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-659.

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