Gertie Witherspoon was on her way to work on July 1 1998 at 4:30 AM when one of her tires on her automobile blew out and the car careened into a roadside ditch. With her car disabled, Witherspoon decided to walk along US route 71 near Adrian Missouri. Still shaken from the accident, Witherspoon attempted to cross the highway to reach for help. At that moment, two trailers, each moving at a speed of 70miles side by side spotted the small figure as she crossed the highway. The truck drivers tried stopping the vehicle but could not avoid hitting her and she died on the scene. In the weeks following the incidents, Mrs. Lang, the only daughter to Mrs. Witherspoon sought more information on the death of her mother. However, all she got was indifferent information from the highway patrol and the owner of the truck company. Frustrated, Lang rang the adjuster at Great West Casualty to ask for more information regarding the case. However, according to the adjuster, there was no fault on the part of their client, Vernon County Grain and Supply. The adjuster pronounced the case closed prompting Lang to seek out help from an attorney. Believing that the family was preparing to sue the company, the claims representative at Great West Casualty filed a suit on behalf of the company against the estate of Mrs. Witherspoon. Five months later, Mrs. Lang received notice of a legal suit filed against her family for damages on the truck that hit her mother.