Widow files wrongful death suit against Trevor Dierdorff 

click to enlarge Dierdorff resigned from his party chair seat in September. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Dierdorff resigned from his party chair seat in September.

Dianna Tolbert, wife of Mel Tolbert, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Trevor Dierdorff stemming from a March 28, 2017, vehicle-pedestrian crash in downtown Colorado Springs.

The then-chair of the El Paso County Republican Party, Dierdorff, backed his vehicle into 79-year-old Tolbert, who was crossing Tejon Street near the El Paso Club on Platte Avenue. Tolbert died on April 2 from his injuries, which the lawsuit said were caused when Dierdorff's vehicle struck Tolbert "violently and with such force as to throw Mr. Tolbert several feet and landing onto his head."

Although District Attorney Dan May dismissed charges against Dierdorff, noting Tolbert wasn't in a crosswalk, the lawsuit says state law requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians and a city ordinance provides that "evidence that a backing vehicle collided with any person or object shall create a rebuttable presumption that the backing movement was unsafe."

The lawsuit also asserts there's a video of the crash and that Dierdorff drove "negligently and carelessly" in reverse gear "at a dangerous speed and without looking or checking his side or rear view mirrors" before striking Tolbert.

Dierdorff resigned from his party chair seat in September. Mrs. Tolbert's lawsuit seeks a judgment in an amount "to be proven at trial."


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