The grandmother of three minor children and the mother of the children’s deceased mother filed a civil lawsuit Sept. 5 in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw, asking for an amount in excess of $75,000.
Rachelle Harrison, the mother of the late Deana Everett and the grandmother to Everett’s three minor children, filed the civil suit against Nina Lashay Cate, 19, of Sallisaw. Harrison claims Cate was at fault in the July 3 crash that took Deana Everett’s life.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), troopers reported 22-year-old Deana Everett of Vian was pronounced dead at the scene on July 3 from trunk, leg and arm injuries.
The OHP reported Everett was a passenger in a 2007 Chevrolet Impala driven by Richard Burleson, 22, of Vian. Cate was driving a 2011 Chevy Impala west on U.S. Highway 64, and went left of center to pass another vehicle just before 1 p.m. July 3 about two miles east of Vian. Burleson was driving east, and Cate’s vehicle struck Burleson’s Chevrolet head-on. Cate’s vehicle ran off the left side of the road coming to rest in a creek. The Burleson vehicle rotated one-half time and came to rest in the roadway.
Burleson was transported to a Fort Smith hospital with internal trunk injuries in stable condition. The three children were all treated and released from a Fort Smith hospital. Cate and a juvenile passenger in her vehicle were both airlifted to a Tulsa hospital.
The lawsuit claims Cate was, at the time of the crash, “using her cell phone for social media purposes.”
The lawsuit goes on to claim that this was the second fatality accident the defendant was involved in “within a one-year time period.”
The court gave Cate 20 days from Sept. 5, when she was summoned, to answer the lawsuit.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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