NewsLocal NewsInvestigationsWestport Crash


Family of pedestrian killed in KCFD Westport crash files wrongful death lawsuit

Tami Knight Collage.jpg
Posted at 2:47 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 15:47:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A second wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in connection to the Westport crash involving a Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department pumper truck last December.

The family of Tami Knight is suing the city and the driver of the pumper truck. The family is represented by attorney David Frye, who filed the lawsuit Thursday morning in Jackson County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit comes more than a month after the KCFD pumper truck collided with an SUV near the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Westport Road. A brick building partially collapsed because of the crash.

Three people were killed, including Knight, who was walking on the sidewalk when the crash happened. Two other victims, Jennifer San Nicholas and Michael Elwood, who were in the SUV involved in the wreck, also died.

The KSHB 41 I-Team reported earlier this month that the family of Michael Elwood filed the first wrongful death lawsuit surrounding the crash.

KCPD is still investigating the circumstances.

After the collision between the SUV and KCFD Pumper 19, the lawsuit says the two vehicles hit a “black Ford F-150, a gray Dodge Caliber, a streetlight, a small tree and a bicycle rack, and traveled off the roadway onto the sidewalk, striking pedestrian Tami Knight and the building located at 4050 Broadway.”

The lawsuit accuses the driver of Pumper 19 of being negligent and failing to “conduct himself in a careful, prudent and lawful manner.”

The KSHB 41 I-Team is not naming the driver at this time, pending the police department's investigation.

The lawsuit also alleges the city and fire department were “vicariously liable” for the driver’s negligence. It accuses them of being negligent, too.

According to the lawsuit, the family is requesting “judgment against Defendants, jointly and severally, for actual damages that a jury determines to be fair and reasonable, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, and for all other proper relief.”

The family is seeking a jury trial.

The KSHB 41 I-Team reached out to the attorney and the family for comment, but was told they would not be speaking at this time.

A fire department spokesman responded by calling the incident a “tragic event” and directed all questions about the lawsuits to the city’s law department for further review.

The city has not responded to a request for comment. We will update this story when we hear back.

We want to hear from you on what resources Kansas City families might benefit from to help us all through the pandemic. If you have five minutes, feel free to fill out this survey to help guide our coverage: KSHB COVID Survey.