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    Wrongful-death suit filed in car wreck

    A woman was killed on U.S. 19 in a chain collision. Her sons are suing the driver charged with DUI-manslaughter.

    By MAUREEN BYRNE

    © St. Petersburg Times, published September 19, 2000


    CLEARWATER -- The two sons of a 68-year-old woman killed in a six-vehicle accident on U.S. 19 are suing the man accused of triggering the chain collision.

    Peter J. Harris and Michael Roberts, the only children of Patricia Roberts, filed a lawsuit last week in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court accusing Takeshi Teshima of Sarasota of wrongfully causing Roberts' death by negligently drivingwhile he was drunk.

    The lawsuit says Teshima, president of Jo-To Japanese Restaurant, became drunk at Jo-To the night and morning before the 8 a.m. accident July 28.

    Clearwater police said Roberts' car was approaching stopped vehicles at a light at the intersection of Harn Boulevard and U.S. 19 when her car was rear-ended by Teshima's truck. Roberts was critically injured when Teshima's Dodge Ram pickup slammed into her Saturn station wagon, shoving it beneath a stopped Mercury Cougar.

    She died at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg about an hour after the accident.

    Authorities have charged Teshima with DUI-manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty.

    "We're seeking a substantial monetary remedy that doesn't bring Mrs. Roberts back, but there is no other mechanism in our society to right a wrong," said Bill Jung, a Tampa lawyer who represents both men.

    Teshima did not return phone calls Monday.

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