Teenager Allegedly Drives Into Opposing Traffic To Commit Suicide and Survives — Then Sues the Family of the Mother and Child Killed in Other Car

In Montana, people are upset over a recent tort filing. Justine Winter is suing, among others, the family of Erin Thompson and her 13-year-old son who died in a crash with her car. That might not seem too uncommon in a torts case. However, Winter was allegedly trying to commit suicide at the time by driving into opposing traffic before she hit Thompson and her son. (Her son, Caden, is shown left)

Thompson was four months pregnant at the time and she was returning with her son, Caden Odell, from a middle-school choral concert.

She is also suing the construction company that built the U.S. 93 overpass where the accident occurred.

Winter, 17, with her father, Randy Winter, filed the lawsuit iagainst Knife River Corp., Western Traffic Control Inc., Mountain West Holding Co. and the estate of Erin Thompson. They were able to name Thompson’s husband, Jason Thompson, as personal representative of the estate because he was not killed by Winter’s car.

Police say that Winter crossed into the opposing traffic in her Pontiac Grand Am when she hit Thompson’s northbound Subaru Forest at 85 mph. She now claims that the road was poorly designed and Thompson was negligent. They cite a defense witness who claims that she was not in the opposing lane.

Prosecutors cite a series of text messages just before the crash to suggest that Thompson crashed intentionally into the car. She had just had an argument with her boyfriend and appeared to believe that they were about to break up. Some of those text messages include:

“Good bye… My last words…”

“If I won. I would have you. And I wouldn’t crash my car.”

“And think this is now life or death. It shows you would rather me die because I want to kill myself. Good bye…”

“Because I wanted to kill myself. I wanted you out of my car so I could do what you told me I couldn’t. Because I lost you and it’s my fault.”

Prosecutors also point out that she was moving 85 mph and that the vehicle’s brakes were reportedly not applied until one second before deployment of the air bags.

We have seen other cases where the alleged victims were converted into defendants, here and here.

Source: Flathead

26 thoughts on “Teenager Allegedly Drives Into Opposing Traffic To Commit Suicide and Survives — Then Sues the Family of the Mother and Child Killed in Other Car”

  1. Tootie: You’ve got mental problems. Get help; although your kind of paranoia problem is the most resistant to help and the least likely to seek it out.


    “Isn’t there any sort of ethical standard among lawyers?”

    Yes, of course there is. It may or may not be one you agree with, insofar as that in our system of justice, we don’t try people by innuendo presented in one-sided news articles.

    “Is there any line beyond which a lawyer filing an absurd, appalling case like this should fear being disbarred?”

    Case like what? I have heard only one side of the story, and one reported by a reporter with a clear ideological axe to grind. I’m not in the courtroom, I don’t have access to all the evidence, and neither does anyone here. I’m not about to jump to any conclusions about “what kind of case this is” because, quite frankly, no one here knows what kind of case this is.

    “This case clearly brings shame on the profession, and if the family of the deceased actually has to defend themselves, then it brings shame on the courts and the law.”

    I refer you to my reply to your last question and then, for fun, will indulge in a thought exercise.

    Let’s just say that everything presented in the article about this case is true. A lawyer has two and only two essential duties; one is to represent the client to the best of his/her ability and the other is not to commit a crime while doing so. Again, let’s just say that everything presented in the aricle is true – if it is, than this young lady doesn’t have a whole lot standing between her and a murder charge, now does she?

    The lawyer has a duty, and that duty IS clearly spelled out by centuries of law and precedent – get the young lady off by any means possible that don’t violate the law. And in this case that’s exactly what the lawyer is doing..again, IF you accept that everything in the article is true.

    @Katie: you are correct, that’s a good point, but I get the feeling that the defendant doesn’t have a lot of options.

  2. My take on this lawsuit is that it’s the prosecutions dream move by a dumb defendant.

    In a criminal trial she is not obligated to take the stand in her defense.

    In a civil suit she is required to be deposed. If I was the widower I would get her on tape under oath ASAP. I’m sure the prosecutor’s office would be available to assist.

  3. tomarch:

    Our court system is not what Mespo claims it to be, but you can forgive him/her for towing the government line about our injustice system. Perhaps Mespo has monetarily benefited from it and knows how to butter the bread?

    Our system is of the big-footed kangaroo hopping variety in which lawyers, judges, and cops are generally the most corrupt people in the room. Ours is also Soviet-style show trials (like the Michael Milken case) where crooked prosecutors make up junk and try you for it. It appears to be the goal of law schools to raise up monsters to torture us with. Notice how few lawyers ever end up in jail but nearly everyone would agree they are the most corrupt persons on earth?

    Truth is never the issue. Nor is justice. The goal is what the government sponsored crooks can get away with. The whole system is set up to insure their monetary gain and acquisition of arbitrary and absolute power (which corrupts and kills absolutely).

    Rudi Giuliani (and his daughter) learn a little lesson about that right now. Perhaps. Or perhaps Karma will punish Giuliani for his “legal” sins against others by wounding his daughter?

    She is an Obama supporter, by the way. Did I mention that stealing is second nature to Democrats? Not that she stole. Not that she is a Democrat. Of course. Not that it matters here. Or does it?


    A co-worker and I were discussing the fellow who shot up the beer company this week and slaughtered over a half-dozen people. In frustration, I told her that these people need to just kill themselves and leave others out of it. And I said there is an easy way to do it. It’s a guaranteed successful method. All a person has to do to kill themselves is find a cop and pretend that they might harm him or her.

    The cop will gleefully shoot them dead. Yes, it is that obvious.



  4. Yes anon,

    Spell check is great if you pay attention. Seriously….

  5. correction:

    2 year olds wants and needs and a 21 years old wants and needs vs a 50 year olds wants and needs. Get back to me when you have the answers…I certainly don’t….

    Spell check, wow, wonderful if you pay attention.

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