The estate of a town of Gouverneur woman who was killed in a collision with a Fort Drum ambulance has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the federal government.
Earl Durham and Corrine Durham, as administrators of the estate of Marjorie M. Swem, filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, against the government, claiming the ambulance caused an April 24, 2010, accident on Route 11 in the town of LeRay. Mrs. Swem, 88, was killed in the crash, while her daughter, Carol A. Durham, was injured.
According to the suit, a Fort Drum ambulance driven by Jorge A. Ponce was traveling on Route 11 preparing to meet up with an ambulance squad from Philadelphia. It is alleged that Mr. Ponce pulled to the roads shoulder and then made an illegal U-turn across the road and into the path of the vehicle in which Mrs. Swem was a passenger.
The suit claims Mr. Ponce was negligent by, among other things, failing to signal the turn and failing to check for oncoming traffic before making it. The suit does not specify an amount sought in damages. Mrs. Swems estate is represented in the action by Syracuse attorney Robert G. Bennett.
The accident also is the subject of two other lawsuits, both filed in state Supreme Court. Mrs. Swems estate and Carol Durham each have filed suit against the village of Philadelphia and its ambulance squad.