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Woman injured in fatal crash files civil suit

A woman who was injured in an accident that took the life of another young woman has filed a lawsuit against the man convicted of causing the crash.

Heather M. Everson, 165 Susan St., Ellsworth, is seeking actual and punitive damages in a civil lawsuit filed March 23 against Ryan C. Foley, Stanley Correctional Center, and his insurance company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

Everson was injured in an April 18, 2003, automobile accident east of River Falls on Hwy. 29. Alyssa Spence, 21, River Falls, died of injuries sustained in that crash.

In December 2003, Foley, now 24, was found guilty of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and causing injury while driving intoxicated. In February 2004, he was sentenced to seven years in prison and five years extended supervision.

Pierce County Judge Robert Wing also ordered Foley to pay $134,388 to Spence's estate and parents. Insurance proceeds were to be applied to the debt. A later order directed that restitution be deducted from Foley's prison wages.

According to reports shortly after the accident, Everson, who was then 20, was a passenger in the Spence car and had broken bones, cuts and bruises.

In asking for punitive damages, the civil suit alleges Foley's drunk driving was a malicious act toward Everson.

Medica Insurance Company, Milwaukee, and Preferred One, Golden Valley, Minn., were named parties to the suit because they have paid medical bills for Everson.