Lawsuit filed against Jamestown man who struck, killed cyclist

Parents of the cyclist who was killed are seeking $150,000 or more in damages, according to court documents filed Monday, Nov. 7.

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FARGO — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a 78-year-old Jamestown, North Dakota, man who was driving a pickup that struck and killed a 20-year-old man riding a bicycle in June about 10 miles north of Jamestown.

James Charles Lees is accused of negligence and wrongful conduct that resulted in the death of Timothy Wayne St. John, 20, Northbrook, Illinois, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Fargo by Jeffrey and Julie St. John on Monday, Nov. 7. The lawsuit states the St. Johns are demanding a jury trial and damages of $150,000 or more.

Timothy St. John was riding a Canyon road bicycle southbound on N.D. Highway 20 near mile marker 10.5 shortly after 12:30 p.m. June 19, while Lees was driving a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado southbound on Highway 20. Lees failed to yield to the bicycle and struck the rear tire, pushing the bicycle and rider into the west ditch, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said in news release about the accident in June.

The patrol said Lees left the scene but returned and found St. John, who was declared dead at the scene after emergency personnel arrived.

No citations were issued by the patrol.


The lawsuit says Lees’ negligence resulted in the death of Timothy St. John and caused Jeffrey and Julie St. John to suffer serious noneconomic damages and losses including but not limited to past and future mental anguish, emotional distress, grief, sorrow, loss of society, loss of comfort and past and future loss of companionship. The lawsuit says Lees’ negligence caused Jeffrey and Julie St. John to suffer serious economic damages including medical expenses for the care and treatment of their son and funeral and burial costs.

The lawsuit also says Lees’ negligence caused Timothy St. John to sustain personal injuries, and prior to his death experienced serious and significant pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, emotional distress and fear.

The Richland County State’s Attorney's Office has the option to charge Kruger again in the future, if they chose to, as the move to dismiss the murder charge was made without prejudice.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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