Family of St. Paul barber killed in crash sues man charged

Lashay Whittaker and his family Photo: Submitted photo
Lashay Whittaker and his family

December 05, 2018 03:52 PM

The family of a St. Paul barber who was killed in a crash in April has filed a lawsuit against the man who was charged and pleaded guilty in connection with the incident.

Last month, 27-year-old Shawn Michael Konder pleaded guilty to a charge of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, causing the death of 41-year-old Lashay Marien Whittaker.

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Police said Whittaker died when his car was struck by Konder's car. Konder was reportedly driving away from the scene of an earlier domestic situation. The Ramsey County medical examiner determined Whittaker's cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries due to a motor vehicle crash.

RELATED: Friends, Family Remember Barber Hit and Killed in St. Paul Crash

"You have a wife and two children that are left without someone who was very dear to them," said attorney Fred Goetz who is representing the Whittaker family.  "You only have to see those kids at their home.  The holes in their heart are evident.  To lose their father like that, it's an absolute tragedy that never should have happened."

Konder had admitted to authorities he had been drinking. According to the lawsuit, it was determined Konder's blood alcohol content was 0.27 percent.

The lawsuit defines defendant Broadband America Corporation (BAC) as the company that employed Konder at the time of the incident and provided him with the vehicle he was driving when the fatal crash occurred.

KSTP reached out to representatives of BAC for comment but did not hear back.

The lawsuit alleges the incident arose "out of the negligent driving, operation and control of a motor vehicle owned by defendant BAC and driven by defendant Konder."

Whittaker's family is seeking $50,000 in damages.

"This is a tragedy that never should have happened," added Goetz.  "Konder was proceeding ahead with reckless disregard for the rights and safety of other individuals.  He was negligent and was only caring about himself."

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Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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