ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — It was a Friday afternoon at one of North Carolina’s busiest tourist sites when heavy winds caused a tree to fall, striking a car and killing a man on June 17.
The man who died that day in the driver’s seat, Casey Skudin, was a father and a New York City fireman, the AP reported. Skudin had 16 years of service experience in Queens and would have turned 46 on that Sunday.
Officials told WSPA that three adults and a child were in the vehicle when the tree fell across a road at the estate’s entrance.
An Asheville fire spokesperson told The Citizen-Times that the driver died before firefighters could arrive on the scene. His family members were taken to Mission Hospital for treatment of their injuries.
His wife, Angela Skudin, and two children have now filed a lawsuit against Asheville’s Biltmore Estate.
The Senior Public Relations Manager for Biltmore issued the following statement in reaction to the lawsuit:
We received notification of a lawsuit filed by Arnold and Itkin Trial Lawyers on behalf of their clients, Angela Skudin and her two children. The complaint is regarding a tragic accident on our entrance road that resulted in fatal injuries to Ms. Skudin’s husband, Casey, and injuries to their son. A portion of a tree fell during a period of high winds and struck the guest’s vehicle as they entered the estate. There have been multiple eye witness accounts of a short duration high wind event around that time. There are no words to express our deep sorrow for the Skudin family’s unimaginable loss and we offer them our deepest sympathy.
We are preparing our answer to this lawsuit and will not provide further details while in litigation. We adamantly deny all allegations of willful or intentional conduct on the part of Biltmore, as well as the allegations of negligence. We will present all of the facts about this heartbreaking accident through the legal process.”LeeAnn Donnelly, Biltmore’s Senior Public Relations Manager