Three teenagers, Sarah Mitchell, Adam Jacobs, and David Messer, were driving in Mitchell’s car at 2:30 a.m. in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mitchell was driving the car, Jacobs was in the front passenger seat, and Messer was in the back seat. Jacobs suggested that they “jump the hills” on Edgewood Avenue, where the speed limit was 40 miles per hour. Mitchell speeded up her car to jump the “big hill” on Edgewood Avenue. The car crested the hill at 80 miles per hour, went airborne, and landed on the road. Mitchell lost control of the car, which sideswiped a Bell Telephone Company utility pole and spun clockwise until the car slammed into an Indianapolis Power & Light Company utility pole. Messer escaped from the burning wreckage but Mitchell and Jacobs died. The utility poles were legally placed twenty five feet from Edgewood Avenue at the far edge of the companies’ easement right of way. Susan Carter, the personal representative of the estate of Adam Jacobs, sued both utility companies, alleging that the companies were negligent in the placement of their utility poles along Edgewood Avenue. Are the utility companies negligent? Carter v. Indianapolis Power & Light Company and Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Inc., 837 N. E. 2d 509, 2005 Ind. App. Lexis 2129 ( Court of Appeals of Indiana, 2005)
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