16 months later, lawsuit settlement becomes last chapter in high-profile Monroe crash

A wrongful death lawsuit filed after the death of a Monroe student in a prom-night crash has been settled, the final step in one of the area’s most high-profile crash events in recent years.

The parents of Kaylie Jackson, who died in the crash, and the two other teens who were in 2013 Tesla driven by Chynna Brandon settled for the insurance money, according to attorney Charlie Rittgers, who represented Jackson’s boyfriend, Tanner Allford.

“It was a tragic case and in the end there were no winners. There were very limited insurance funds available. None of the families were fully compensated because of the limited insurance policies,” Rittgers said. “The parties worked together amicably and resolved the claims for the limited settlement funds available.”

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The lawsuit was filed about a month after Jackson was killed on her way to prom on April 27, 2018. Jackson and Allford were in the backseat of the Tesla, and Mitchell Foster, Jr. was in the front seat.

Brandon lost control of the vehicle on hilly Millikin Road in Liberty Twp., dropped into a ditch and hit a telephone pole. Jackson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected and died three days later, and the other teens were also injured. Brandon was speeding at around 112 mph, witnesses said.

Brandon pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in juvenile court in December 2018.

Rittgers said previously the teens and Jackson’s parents received $100,000 each from Brandon’s mother’s insurance policy. The final issue was how to divide Brandon’s father’s $500,000 insurance policy, those amounts were not readily available.

In the lawsuit, Jackson’s parents alleged the driver and her parents were “jointly and severally liable” for compensatory and punitive damages because her actions “constitute in whole or in part malicious, reckless, wanton and willful conduct and constituted a conscious disregard for the rights and safety of plaintiffs.”

Before Brandon was sentenced to the Miami Valley Rehabilitation Center in Xenia for mental health treatments in December, Jackson’s mother, Amanda Garcia, told the driver “I will forgive you some day,” but also revealed her anguish.

“There are no words to describe the horror I feel,” Garcia said. “I’m living a nightmare.”

As a mother, her job was to protect her daughter, she said.

“I failed,” she said.

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Foster Jr. suffered facial fractures, a broken jaw and a broken nose. After the crash he told the Journal-News he “blacked out” for about two hours and remembers nothing about the crash scene or being extricated from the vehicle.

“In addition to the physical injuries and medical expenses, and the direct and proximate result of the negligence and carelessness of the defendant, Foster suffers psychological trauma associated with being in a traumatic crash and loss of his best friend of years Kaylie Jackson,” attorney Jason Phillabaum wrote.

When Allford joined the lawsuit, Rittgers wrote in the complaint his client suffered a host of serious physical injuries and is “suffering from PTSD, nightmares of the crash and psychological trauma associated with the death of his girlfriend.”

Both teens were forced to join the lawsuit if they wanted to recover any insurance money for their injuries.

Attorneys for the other plaintiffs could not be reached for comment.

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