City sues Small for $23K

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 16, 2006

Driver hit Jeff Davis power pole



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One slip of the wheel and lapsed insurance could cost a Valley Grande resident more than $23,000 &045; way more than his early morning charge of driving under the influence.

David Earl Small Jr., 28, of 932 Highway. 219, was driving along Jeff Davis Avenue about 2:23 a.m. the morning of Sept. 17, when his 1990 Chevrolet truck reportedly got away from him. Small hit a pole at the intersection of Jeff Davis and Church St., which fell the pole, blocking Jeff Davis.

Down with the pole came the traffic light, and power lines. The intersection now has a temporary stop sign, which causes motorists to avoid the area or wait on Church St. for an opportunity to cross.

The Selma City Council, facing the responsibility of replacing the traffic light, learned this week of the extended costs due to the fact the light was old. Now, more than just the light has to be replaced. The traffic signal, a new box switch, signal strobes, 40 feet of conduit, assorted hardware and washers &045; not to mention labor costs &045; come to $23,111. 10.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. told council members that was the good news. The bad news was after contacting Small’s insurance company they learned his State Farm Insurance coverage lapsed in July.

In addition to having had his truck towed from the scene, Small was charged with DUI, according the incident report.

The council voted unanimously during last Monday’s meeting to authorize City Attorney Jimmy Nunn to contact Small of the city’s intent to &8220;proceed with civil action&8221; to recover the costs.