Kirk files case for death of husband in Louisa accident


LOUISA – Sharon Kirk has filed a civil action against Richard S. Gussler, III and Mountain City Ford in which she seeks $10 million for the death of Joey Kirk, her husband.

Mr. Kirk was a back seat passenger in a car operated by Paul Justice which was involved in an accident on U.S. 23 at Louisa on December 14, 2007 with a vehicle operated by Richard Gussler, III. Mr. Kirk was taken to a Louisa hospital, where he later died as a result of the crash injuries. Justice and another passenger, Mark Scaggs, survived the crash but were injured. Gussler reportedly was not injured.

Following the crash, Gussler was charged with Manslaughter, Second Degree, and is presently in the Big Sandy Detention Center in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

Joey Kirk was a long time employee of the Martin County Board of Education. Richard Gussler was employed by Mountain City Ford as a lot salesman.

According to the complaint against Gussler and Mountain City Ford, the vehicle driven by Gussler that was involved in the crash belonged to Mountain City Ford and, Kirk said in the complaint, that “Gussler operated the vehicle pursuant to his employment with Mountain City Ford.”

Kirk’s civil action, filed by attorneys John Kirk and Jeff Hinkle against both Gussler and his employer, alleges that “on December 14, 2007, Gussler – while he was drunk or otherwise impaired by drug use – operated a vehicle owned by Mountain City Ford . . . which crashed into a vehicle in which Joey was a passenger.”

Kirk’s civil action alleges that Gussler had been hired by Mountain City Ford as a salesman “despite his extensive criminal record for alcohol, drug and vehicle criminal acts for a job that required him to operate cars and trucks upon public roadways” and that Mountain City Ford was negligent in hiring Gussler for such a job.

The complaint alleges that Mountain City Ford was “negligent” when it hired Gussler and that it was “negligent” when it permitted Gussler to drive its vehicle upon a public roadway. The suit alleges that Gussler’s and Mountain City Ford’s conduct was “willful and wanton and done without consideration of the rights and safety of others and was the proximate cause of Joey’s death.”

Sharon Preece Kirk, an Inez native, and Joey lived on Route 3 near Inez.