AUBURN — The brother of an Auburn man who was killed while a passenger in a car that slammed into a light pole in Lewiston eight years ago is suing the driver of that vehicle.

Travis Jellison, who was 15 years old on April 5, 2006, was riding in a vehicle that was following the car that crashed and killed his brother, Kenneth Jr., who was 18.

In his civil complaint, filed Wednesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court, Travis Jellison said that Kyle Karkos drove his 1993 Honda Civic in a “negligent and unsafe manner, including, but not limited to, violating traffic signals and driving the vehicle at an unsafe speed.”

The complaint continues, “Karkos operated his vehicle in a careless, reckless and negligent manner, including, but not limited to, failing to see what there was to be seen, traveling at an unsafe speed and failing to properly control his vehicle.”

At a bench trial in 2007, then-8th District Court Judge MaryGay Kennedy said she wasn’t able to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Karkos’ actions were a “gross deviation from standard” conduct. Kennedy dismissed a juvenile petition alleging manslaughter after deciding he wasn’t criminally responsible.

Karkos was 17 years old at the time of the crash.

The car Travis Jellison was riding in was racing the vehicle Karkos drove down Canal Street shortly before 9:30 p.m. The posted speed was 25 mph. A Maine State Police trooper who wrote the accident reconstruction report wasn’t able to determine the speed of Karkos’ car at the time he lost control and crashed.

In his civil complaint, Travis Jellison said, “Karkos’ negligent crashing of his vehicle caused the death of his front seat passenger.”

Travis Jellison is suing for negligent infliction of emotional distress and psychological trauma he suffered because of Karkos’ negligence, the complaint says. Jellison is demanding judgment for compensatory damages, interests, costs and any other relief the court believes is just and equitable, according to the complaint.

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