Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed In Fatal Bellevue Street Sweeper Accident

Posted on Mar 27, 2019

Seattle, WA - March 27, 2019 - Attorneys at Davis Law Group and Coluccio Law have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in King County Superior Court (19-2-05894-3-SEA) on behalf of the surviving family members of the man who was struck by a street sweeper and killed in Bellevue in February 2018.  

On February 19, 2018 Leroy Westphal, employed by Nelson & Sons Construction Co., Inc., was operating a street sweeper vehicle at a construction site near the 1200 block of 120th Avenue Northeast in downtown Bellevue, Washington.  

At the time of this incident, he was driving the 1992 International Series 4700 Street Sweeper Truck (manufactured by Navistar) in the northbound lane of 120th Avenue Northeast.  He then stopped and began driving the street sweeper in reverse in the southbound direction.  The street sweeper struck 44-year-old pedestrian Alexandru Culai, pulled him under the vehicle, and killed him.   

Culai, a native of Moldova, was a professional Christian singer and tractor-trailer driver. Alexandru's wife was 8 months pregnant at the time of the accident that took his life. His son was born one month after the tragic accident.  Culai also had two teenaged children from a previous marriage.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants had a legal duty to operate the street sweeper vehicle in a safe manner and the driver failed to keep a proper lookout and/or watch the vehicle's backup camera which caused the fatal accident.  Trial date set for March 2020.  

Davis Law Group has consulted with industry safety experts regarding the common causes of street sweeper accidents and the apparent rise in accidents involving street sweeper vehicles over the last few years.  According to experts, street sweeper accidents are typically the result of a lack of proper driver training; distracted drivers; high noise level inside the vehicle; or the lack of an operational or unobstructed rear-view camera. 

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of street sweeper incidents reported in the news media since 2010.  Fourteen (14) incidents were reported in 2018, nine (9) in 2017 and fourteen (14) others in the previous five years.

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street sweeper death lawsuit

Attorneys:  Chris Davis of Davis Law Group representing the victim's widow and infant child (child born one month after the death of father).  Kevin Coluccio of Coluccio Law and Kenneth Brewe, Brewe Layman, P.S. representing the children from a previous marriage.  

Defendants: Leroy Westphal (street sweeper driver) and Nelson & Sons Construction Co., Inc.

Plaintiff: Estate of Alexandru Culai, represented by court appointed Personal Representative Bruce Wolf. 

Media Inquiries: Contact Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000.

Street Sweeper Lawsuit

DLG Case Number: 201944
Case Title: Culai v. Nelson & Sons Construction
Docket: 19 2 05894 3 SEA
Court: Superior Court of King County for Washington
Date Filed: 3/1/2019
Trial Date: 3/2/2020

Chris Davis
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Christopher M. Davis is principal attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.