Eric Frein in Custody

Families of Reservists Win Lawsuit After Fatal Crash

WILKES-BARRE — For the families of two local navy reservists who lost their lives in Kuwait, it was a moment they had been waiting for since 2009.

Friday in Scranton a federal jury found a defense contractor and his employer liable for the crash that cost Brian Patton and David Morgan their lives.

Morgan was hurt and his friend Brian Patton of Nanticoke was killed when their SUV collided with another vehicle on a highway in Kuwait in November of 2009.

Then in August 2013, Morgan died from his injuries.

Attorneys claim that Morgan Hanks, an employee of BSA, tried to pass a convoy on a two-lane road, but crashed into the vehicle that Morgan and Patton were in.

Each family was awarded an amount expected to add up to more than $2 million.

The money will pay for items such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and college tuition for the men’s children.

Chuck Morgan said, “This case makes the government think about that highway because it’s a very dangerous highway.”

Morgan said while Hanks left the courthouse without speaking to them, attorneys for the defendant did reach out.

“They came over and shook our hands, and apologized for what’s happened, that was really great of them.”

Newswatch 16 met Dave Morgan last year just before his favorite holiday. He was preparing at the VA hospital to be Grand Marshal of Wilkes Barre’s St. Patrick’s Parade. Family members still recall the moment when the city’s police department made him an honorary member.

While Dave Morgan loved St. Patrick’s Day, the family is actually Welsh.

However, they said the timing of the verdict is perfect.

Peggy Morgan said, “To think that this was lent, and God gave up his son, and we had to give up our son, but he is in a better place, and we feel better about it now.”

With court behind them, the Morgans can breath a sigh of relief and focus on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and honoring their son. On Sunday they will drive his car in the Wilkes-Barre parade.

Chuck and Peggy believe their son’s spirit will be along for the ride.

“To finally know that he can finally rest in peace, it’s wonderful,” said Peggy.

The Morgans said since Dave died they have not been back to the VA, but now they hope to return and help other wounded veterans.

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