Dallas crash victims sue Chiefs’ Rashee Rice, SMU’s Teddy Knox – The Dallas Morning News

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A Dallas couple is suing Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice and SMU cornerback Theodore “Teddy” Knox in connection with a multivehicle crash last month that injured them and at least five others.

Edvard Petrovskiy and Irina Gromova are seeking more than $1 million through the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in Dallas County. Their attorney, Sanjay Mathur, told The Dallas Morning News on Monday they’re both “pretty upset about what occurred” and still undergoing treatment.

He said they haven’t yet heard from Rice or Knox.

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“They felt that the accountability measures that need to be taking place — both for them, but also the public at large — would best be served by filing a lawsuit,” Mathur said.

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Attorneys for Rice and Knox did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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The lawsuit alleged the two football players challenged each other “to a high-speed race” despite knowing the road was “heavily trafficked with commuters.” Petrovskiy and Gromova were “severely injured,” the lawsuit said, noting brain trauma, lacerations to the face that required stitches, contusions, disfigurement and internal bleeding.

The filing appeared to be the first lawsuit reported in connection with the crash March 30. Rice and Knox also each face one criminal count of aggravated assault, a count of collision involving serious bodily injury and six counts of collision involving injury, Dallas police officials announced last week.

Officials have said Rice admitted to driving one of two high-end sports cars that triggered the six-vehicle crash in the 6600 block of North Central Expressway. He and Knox turned themselves into Glenn Heights police last week.

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Mathur said there are limits in the criminal justice system for how much money can be issued as a fine, noting most felonies have a maximum of $10,000. He said the question, for them, was whether that amount would be appropriate or severe enough to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

“I don’t think criminal charges necessarily do the trick when it comes to compensating victims,” Mathur said. “Nor do I think that filing criminal charges sends enough of a punitive measure to either the perpetrators of an event or to the public at large.”

The crash

Kristin Lowman, a Dallas police spokeswoman, has said the drivers of a Chevrolet Corvette and a Lamborghini Urus were speeding about 6:20 p.m. on the expressway near Lovers Lane and University Boulevard, where each lost control.

The cars “made multiple aggressive maneuvers” and “took faulty evasive action” to avoid hitting a sedan and other vehicles but came into contact with each other, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit for Rice. The collision with the sedan caused a chain-reaction crash, the affidavit said, which continued to three other vehicles.

According to the affidavit, the Urus was traveling 119 mph 4.5 seconds before the collision. The Corvette was traveling 116 mph 7.5 seconds before the collision, but had slowed to 91 miles per hour about 1.5 seconds before.

The speed limit is 70 mph on that stretch of highway. Police wrote in the affidavit that the “reckless” driving put “multiple people at risk of loss of life and serious injury.”

Rice and four other men were seen on video leaving the scene after the crash. Police have said the men didn’t stop to see if anyone needed medical attention or provide any of their information.

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Rice’s attorney, state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, said at a news conference the former Richland High School and SMU star confessed to driving the Lamborghini. He said his client was not trying to run or hide from anyone but didn’t offer any explanation for why Rice left the scene.

During the news conference, West said Rice reached out to some of the crash victims and will “do everything in his power” to bring a sense of normalcy back to their lives. He said Rice understood that people could’ve been seriously injured, which is why he came forward and answered “every question” from police.

According to SMU officials, Knox was suspended from the football team after the school learned of his alleged involvement. The passengers in the sports cars will not face charges, police said.

The arrest-warrant affidavit detailed injuries from several victims, including a driver who had “serious bodily injury” to her face, head, torso and leg that required multiple stitches to treat. She’ll be rendered “to a life of limited mobility and sight for an undetermined, extended period of time while she seeks treatment,” the affidavit said.

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The couple’s experience was shared shortly after the crash, when an attorney told The News the pair were on their way to a friend’s 50th birthday party when two luxury vehicles slammed into their white Lexus. Their SUV spun across the roadway until it hit the wall of the highway.

Other victims have also spoken out, including Kayla Quinn, a 27-year-old who told The News she and her 4-year-old son were shaken up by the collision that left their Hyundai Accent “un-drivable.” Another attorney — Marc Lenahan — told The News he’s representing a victim in an Uber that was T-boned.

Lawsuit allegations

In the lawsuit, the couple noted that Rice is an accomplished football player who has amassed “both fame and wealth.” With that “good fortune” comes responsibility, the lawsuit says, noting he didn’t abide by that principle “despite awareness of multiple innocent commuters and their families.”

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After the crash, Rice, Knox and their passengers had the opportunity “to witness the carnage of the vehicles, and the severely injured, bleeding, and visibly distressed commuters that were in plain sight,” the lawsuit said. Although victims were “calling for emergency help and desperately trying to exit their destroyed vehicles in a state of shock,” the lawsuit added, the football players “intentionally, knowingly evaded assisting injured commuters.”

The lawsuit noted that Rice made a public statement of responsibility and goodwill after the crash, but said none of that was shown at the scene.

By the time he “had his moral awakening,” the lawsuit said, “the opportunity to gather evidence about Rice’s and Knox’s mental state and level of intoxication from any intoxicating substances would be forever diminished or lost.”

Police have not released information about if anyone in the crash was suspected to be intoxicated. According to WFAA-TV (Channel 8), a police report says 10.8 grams of marijuana — less than an ounce — was in the Urus.

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