A Fairfax circuit jury has awarded $22,000 to a cabbie struck from behind on the Washington Beltway last year.
In the case, the plaintiff made allegations that the defendant was drunk, was speeding at 85 mph and was having sex at the time of the crash. The Washington Post tagged it the “Beltway Sex” case and sent a reporter to live-tweet the proceedings. (See #beltwaysex).
According to the Post account, police and witnesses on the scene of the crash pulled two people, a man and a woman, from the defendant’s car.
The main defendant, Salem Trad, had several different stories, according to the Post. First, he told police the woman was driving. Then, he said he was having sex in the back seat with the woman when they crashed. At trial, he said was asleep in the back seat, after having had sex with the woman. At one point, Trad indicated that a friend, Yenenah al-Damari, had been driving.
The woman, who was not identified by the Post, denied having sex with anyone, although she admitted she was very drunk. She, Trad and al-Damari had been drinking in a Maryland strip club to celebrate Trad’s 21st birthday, according to testimony.
Al-Damari testified that the others had dropped him off at his home, although based on Trad’s story, he was named as a defendant.
After closing arguments this morning, Fairfax Circuit Judge Brett Kassabian sent the jury to deliberate. They were out for 40 minutes, finding that the defendants owed Omar $22,000. The jury imposed all of the award on Trad.
In an earlier criminal proceeding, Trad was found guilty of driving under the influence, a conviction that was not discussed in the civil trial.
- Paul Fletcher