Civil Suit Filed Against Man Accused of Vehicular Homicide, Hit and Run


SEATTLE, WA — Marler Clark today filed a lawsuit against Troy Hagen, a 29-year-old Olympia resident who is charged with the November 2, 2003 death of 47-year-old Kirkland resident Walter High. The lawsuit was brought by High’s fiancé, Esther Jones, on behalf of their daughter, Shauniece High. Hagen pled not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit and run at a November 13 court hearing.

According to witnesses, at around 2 o’clock a.m. on November 2, Walter High, a disabled US Army veteran, had left a club, and was standing on the driver’s side of his SUV, talking with friends. Hagen, who was speeding, sideswiped the vehicle, folding back the open driver’s door, and hitting High so hard that he was impaled in the windshield of Hagen’s Honda Accord. Hagen drove for four more blocks before stopping his car and removing High from the car’s windshield. He then proceeded another eleven blocks, and called 911 from a grocery story pay phone – twenty minutes after first hitting High. An ambulance arrived at the scene, and took High to Harborview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead from brain injuries and near amputation of his legs.

“We are suing on behalf of Mr. High’s daughter, to attempt to compensate her for some of her loss,” said David Babcock, the family’s attorney. “Obviously, no amount of money can set things right. Nevertheless, this lawsuit is about protecting Shauniece and providing for her future.”

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BACKGROUND: David Babcock is an associate with the Seattle law firm Marler Clark. The firm’s practice is devoted to representing injured children and adults against corporations, public agencies, and insurance companies. The Marler Clark law firm is nationally known for its extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illness outbreaks, including the Jack in the Box, Odwalla, and ConAgra E. coli outbreaks. Most recently, Marler Clark secured a $4.75 million jury verdict against the Finley School District in Eastern Washington after several children were infected with E. coli from contaminated beef served to them in a school lunch.