Two companies responsible for placing proper signage and blockades on the Veterans Expressway in Tampa during construction are being held accountable in the death of a Pinellas Park couple.
Henry and Diana Neuner‘s two sons, Leo and Nolan Neuner are suing GLF Construction of Miami and Sema Construction, a Centennial, Colorado-based firm, for negligence. The wrongful death action was filed in Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Circuit Court on Dec. 13, 2016.
The Neuners died June 11, 2016, while en route to Withlacoochee State Park to watch the sunrise. As Mr. Neuner drove north on the expressway, he stayed in the far-right lane, which is typically an exit-only lane. However, the lane appeared to continue.
As the car traveled over the Gunn Highway overpass, the lane suddenly ended. The car slammed into a concrete barricade at an estimated 45 mph. GLF owned the barricade, which obstructed the entire right lane. There wasn’t an opportunity for Mr. Neuner to brake or avoid collision with the obstruction. Both Henry and Diana died almost immediately.
Florida Department of Transportation contracted Sema and GLF to work on widening the Veterans Expressway. Each company was assigned a sector of the highway. The line adjoining the two sectors is the Gunn Highway exit around Mile Marker 9. Both companies were responsible for erecting and maintaining “roadway construction signage, traffic cones, and other directional devices.” Barrels and signs stating “Road Closed” were placed by the exit prior to the accident, however at some point before the crash, they were removed and never replaced.
The sons are co-representatives of their parents’ estate.
A Tampa Bay Reporter article on the accident stated that Mrs. Neuner wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
The Neuner’s left behind two sons and four grandchildren.