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Carwash Files Lawsuit to Inspect SUV That Hit Customer

Maritime Autowash filed a lawsuit in county Circuit Court to inspect the vehicle that one of its employees crashed through a window in August critically injuring a 45-year-old man.

UPDATE: (3:21 p.m.)— officials have filed a motion to inspect an SUV that crashed through its window, critically injuring one of its customers.

Kevin Mellett, 45, of Odenton on Aug. 18 after a black GMC Acadia crashed through Maritime's window, pinning him between an aluminum support bar and the car, said an eye witness.

"I was sitting there alongside the window, and it sounded like a bomb went off," the eyewitness told Patch on Aug. 18. "It threw glass back at least 15 feet across the room."

Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Rivers told Patch that Mellett is still listed in critical condition at the hospital more than two weeks after the accident. Rivers was unable to give additional details due to patient confidentiality laws.

The SUV was driven by Maritime employee Amare Asiradew, 24, but court documents show the Acadia belongs to Dianna and Jack Childress, of Annapolis. The car wash states in its petition that Dianna Childress drove the vehicle home after the accident, and she refused to let employees inspect the vehicle.

Baltimore-based attorney Imoh E. Akpan filed a motion on behalf of the car wash in Anne Arundel Circuit Court on Aug. 29 to "request to enter upon land and inspect vehicle and perpetuate other evidence in anticipation of litigation."

On Friday, Judge Alison Asti granted the motion, giving the Childresses five days to respond.

Patch is awaiting confirmation that Mellett is still recovering at Shock Trauma.

Joey L September 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM
First off, I hope Kevin is doing better and hope he makes a full recovery. I am also glad this issue is still being investigated, however I am a little confused as to why the "employees" of Maritime wanted to inspect the vehicle after the incident. Are any of them ASE Certified Mechanics??? I wonder what they wanted to "inspect" the vehicle for?
Mike September 04, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Hopefully Kevin is doing at least somewhat better at this point. It sounds like he's in for a long road ahead but hopefully he will recover fully. When reading another site's report of this story, they stated that the driver of the vehicle didn't have a license but instead a learner's permit. I find it funny too that Maritime wants the vehicle to inspect it. Shouldn't a non-biased shop or mechanic be looking at the vehicle rather than one that is paying them to do the inspection?
mbfrain September 04, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Um... Why wouldn't thus have been a police case ....and automatic search of the vehicle .. They were allowed to drive it home ?????? What am I missing here
A Concerned Mom September 04, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Doesn't sit real well with me that they are covering their bases in this manner so quickly. Shrewd, yes I'll call it shrewd. But then again they must be fairly experienced in lawsuits what with the hazards they create on route 2.
tom September 04, 2012 at 08:05 PM
I suspect that they might be familiar with the problem of rust/corrosion which is rampant on GMC and Chevrolet trucks. It can cause catastrophic failure with no warning, in spite of GM's assertion that it doesn't happen without warning. I experienced this problem twice over a period of several years and had to get the steel brake lines (not linings) replaced. Four of my neighbors had the same problem in August. Whether this was the cause of the accident or not, I would suggest anyone with a GM built truck or suv should have their brake lines inspected regularly. The government has been studying the problem for several years now, but so far there is no recall. If you're a quick thinker, you can apply the parking brake. That is not as effective as properly functioning brakes, but might prevent an accident or minimize the impact.
William J Hurley September 04, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I am Kevin's Uncle. The primary immediate concern is for Kevin's welfare ... everything else is secondary. To that end pray fro him. Scondarily, we live in a counrty where individual responsibility is a hallmark. Whoever is responsible for this tragic event, and asuredly someone is, needs to be held accountable. Whether it is incompetence, negligence, wanton disregard for the safety of others, mismanagement, an event of this magnitude cannot be written off to "well accidents just happen." Not only must Kevin be appropriately compensated, and the responsible person(s) penalized, but the final outcome should create a safe invironment at this business.
Soco original September 05, 2012 at 11:09 AM
If there was a catastrophic failure of the brakes, as you described, they would not have been able to drive the vehicle home. Nor has any reports and investigations of these brake line issues applied to a 2007 GMC. ( 1993-2003 Pickups and SUVs ). And even this has been a rare issue. If it has happened to you twice and to four of your neighbors, it seems like someone is trying to take you guys out. Don't try to use this tragedy to beat your drum. The kid had a learner's permit, probably made an error, and sadly, Kevin is the one suffering because of it. he is the most important thing in the whole matter.
matt September 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I agree with William....but this much damage would.not have happened...if the driver was properly seated in vehicle(usually door wide open.sitting on the edge of seats while driving) and with out substantial input from the gas pedal to drive UP there sloped drive lane and thru the building, wouldn't happen under light proper input
jack September 05, 2012 at 07:39 PM
tom, please reach out to me on this. jxrwild@aol.com Jack
AnnapB September 05, 2012 at 11:00 PM
I wish nothing less than a quick and full recovery for Kevin. I purchased a car from Kevin years ago when he worked at the Annapolis BMW dealership when it was Tate BMW. He loves cars and I always felt comfortable in our dealings, and calling him even years later if I had a simple question. I hate to hear this happened to him. It sure puts things in perspective, as a little over 3 years ago Maritime damaged the entire side of my car, in addition to another one of their customers cars that they hit while driving mine. I was left on the hook with incomplete repairs that they had Criswell Collison Center do. In short, neither Maritime or Criswell held up their end of responsibility. After going back multiple times with no positive results in sight, I relized it was not worth the stress and moved on with life. So in regards to perspective I am glad that no one was injured then, but am blown away that someone was injured this badly due to Maritime and their general way of business. Maritime should have learned from my incident as well as others they have had, to not to have employees that lack a drivers licensese driving clients cars. Overall you can replace things, but when it comes down to someones life or quality of life that's priceless. One would think it's essential for Maritime to have their drivers / employees be required to have a valid license to move the cars. Kevin, here's to a quick and full recovery!
Kami September 05, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Mr. Hurley, I could not agree more! First and foremost, Kevin's health and recovery is the priority! As an ICU nurse myself, I recognize his recovery will be a long and challenging road...and we pray for his (Sheryl's and his family's) strength to get through this! Kevin has a huge automotive family/friend/customer base praying for him...everyday! Please, keep his BMW of Annapolis family/friends up-to-date on his recovery!
EdgewateRyan September 06, 2012 at 02:27 PM
The carwash is obviously going to get sued and someone is going to be writing out a huge check to the victim in this case. (And rightfully so.) The carwash is just being prudent in wanting to have the accident vehicle inspected. (And the carwash employees won't inspect the car; it will be done by a mechanic who could potentially be called as an expert witness.) If I were their lawyer, I'd be doing the same thing and I'm not surprised the judge was willing to issue an order compelling it. Although it's a long shot, they'll try to get GM -- and potentially the car's owners -- to kick in to the settlement if they can make any reasonable argument that the design/construction/condition of the car contributed to this accident. You gotta admit (assuming this fact is true) it seems suspicious to me that, following a near-fatal accident, the car's owners were insistent on immediately driving the damaged car home and refusing to let anyone look at it.
Sue Crandall September 06, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Well, it's like they always say...the best defense is a good offense. The vehicle owners had no expectation other than getting their car washed, and it's curious that the judge is allowing the at fault carrier to do anything at this time. At this point, the vehicle is damaged, and a proper mechanical inspection by a reputable engineering firm will cost big bucks. What exactly will that reveal about the operation of the vehicle that day? Not a darn thing. I don't blame the vehicle owner for leaving, I'll bet she was furious. What exactly would the car wash management learn by looking at her car? That it was damaged? I guess the insurance company's house counsel figures it's better to turn the attention away from who was actually operating the vehicle...that may be a big can of worms for sure! It's sort of like blaming a handgun for a murder. Anyway, I think I'll pop some corn and get comfortable. This event should be entertaining,that's for sure.
Sue Crandall September 06, 2012 at 03:58 PM
nope, its not suspicious at all. I assume that the owner was white hot mad, probably not at all happy that her car was damaged, when all she wanted was a carwash. I dunno, I'd certainly flee the place before anything else bad happened, and I know I'd be on the phone to my lawyer for sure! Again, why look to the gun before interviewing the person wielding it? Down the road, in discovery, I can see a request like that. I don't believe the investighation is anywhere near complete, that the atorney has to start blaming the car. Or, does he know something? Somethjing is fishy here...do the employees all have drivers licenses? What is the criteria for working there? Is a driving test administered? Who makes the determination the employees are fit to operate a motor vehicle? Does the management hire MVA inspectors to determine this? Following that logic, the government is always trying to take guns from law abiding citizens...what's next... cars?
Siobhan January 30, 2013 at 02:31 AM
The last sentence of your comment is offensive to me. Nothing about this "event" is entertaining... at least not to me. Kevin is my brother.
William J Hurley January 30, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Sue, Your legal ineptitude, engineering ignorance, and abscence of any analytical capabilities is staggering. I hope for your sake you are not attempting to use any skills in those areas to provide for yourself. Lastly, your attempt at wry humor with the netertainment comment s at the least insulting, at best it is reflective of a juvenile personality. Leave the comments to the adults and mentally competent, your silence will reward you! Kevin's Uncle Bill Hurley!

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